Farmers should avoid picking a fight or debate with the vegan community, National Dairy Council CEO Zoe Kavanagh has said.

Asked about recent vegan campaigns, Kavanagh said: “We need to be clear that it’s OK for consumers to have a portfolio of choice when it comes to food and food products.

“Everyone should have the freedom to choose but everyone should have the freedom to choose with full nutritional knowledge around what they’re getting when they purchase.”


Speaking at the Farming 2023 seminar held at the Lismullin Conference Centre on Tuesday, the National Dairy Council chief highlighted that when consumers are presented with this choice, “we very much know that the nutritional credentials of dairy are backed up by decades of science”.

“The nutritional credentials of some of these new foods and new beverages are not underpinned at all by the same level of science,” she warned.

Kavanagh also suggested that while consumers abroad are “so positive” about Irish dairy, Irish consumers have “not really stopped to think about the production system and probably don’t give enough credit to Irish dairy farmers”.

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