Sustainable dairy is an opportunity for Ireland and Irish dairy has an advantage by having one of the lowest carbon footprints in the world, head of sustainability at Kerry Group Juan Aguiriano has said.

“If I take a statistic, take the CO2 per litre of milk globally, Ireland and New Zealand have the lowest footprint in the world.

“Building on that... if the consumer still wants to buy dairy, some are moving to plant-based but they don’t always like the taste. It’s not a digital choice – I drink or eat cheese or dairy-based food or I go to plant-based.

“There is something in the middle which is more sustainable dairy; lower carbon, locally sourced et cetera and that’s a fantastic opportunity in Ireland,” he said. He added that this is where Kerry is investing, in the form of its €6m EVOLVE sustainability programme with farmers.

On the future of food, Aguiriano said that extending the shelf life of food without using chemicals, because that creates another problem, is the most efficient way to reduce food waste.

“That’s the future, trying to help our customers to keep their food longer and it’s still fresh.”