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Farmers say supply chain should take responsibility

April 30, 2019

Three in five dairy farmers say the entire supply chain should take responsibility for light damage to dairy produce as 90% admit knowing that light damages nutrients.

  • New research shows 90% of dairy farmers know that light damages nutrients in milk, and 98% would work with a partner to make their packaging light protected
  • However, fewer than a third (29%) of consumers are aware that light damages milk with over half (55%) saying that supermarkets should be proactively looking to package milk in light-protected packaging
  • Three in five dairy farmers (62%) say the whole supply chain should take responsibility for the issue
  • Noluma International LLC, a leading light certification company, is calling on the entire dairy supply chain to take action and prevent further nutrient loss in Britain’s milk

Nine in ten (90%) UK dairy farmers say they are aware that light damages nutrients and taste in milk with 62% saying the whole dairy supply chain should take responsibility for the issue, according to research published today by packaging technology company Noluma International LLC.

Despite the widespread knowledge among dairy farmers, fewer than a third (29%) of consumers are aware that light damages milk even though scientific studies have shown that both natural and indoor lighting can impact the nutritional quality, taste and smell of dairy products. Independent testing by Cornell University has shown that some nutrients, in particular protein and vitamin B2 (riboflavin), can decrease by 28% after just 20 minutes of light exposure.

Consumers also believe that retailers should take action with over half (55%) saying that supermarkets should be proactively looking to package milk produce in ‘light protected’ packaging. These findings signal the need for the whole dairy supply chain to be more transparent about the issue of light damage, and take measures now to prevent the negative impact on its nutrients and quality.

Divya Chopra, CEO of packaging technology company Noluma, commented, “Despite dairy farmers being aware that light causes damage to their milk, consumers just don’t have the same level of knowledge. When they do however, they want to do something about it. We want to encourage the entire dairy supply chain – from distributors to supermarkets – to take action on light protected packaging, ensuring that the milk UK dairy farmers are so proud to produce reaches consumers with the nutrients that they expect.”

The research also finds that over three-quarters (77%) of dairy farmers are concerned that the quality of their produce may diminish before it reaches consumers because of current packaging standards. Most farmers surveyed (90%) say that they would like to be more involved in decisions around the packaging of their produce to ensure it is as effective as possible.
Chopra added, “Despite how little dairy produce is adequately protected from light, it’s clear that there is a desire among UK dairy farmers to ensure that their milk is the best it possibly can be. That’s why we are introducing light-protection certification so that everyone – from farmer to consumer – can be confident that they’re getting the nutritious, tasty product they expect.”