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29/11/2017 – News / Dairy / Appointments / New Zealand / Food / Industry

Global dairy platform announces new board chairman

Industry body Global Dairy Platform (GDP) has appointed Theo Spierings, CEO of New Zealand dairy giant Fonterra CEO, as its new Chairman, effective as of 16th November 2017.


Mr Spierings said he was pleased to be taking on the role and playing a part in maximising the contribution dairy can make to the world. “More than ever, people are turning to dairy for nutritional security and sustainable food, and every day we see the good that dairy can do. We also recognise that the world will have more than two billion more mouths to feed by 2050. With food demand expected to increase by at least 50 per cent in 2050, the challenge is how best to apply the goodness of dairy to the places and people that need it the most.


“Along with the role dairy plays in everyday nutrition, there is a real opportunity to work together and look at new ways we can make the nutritional benefits of dairy more available for those facing poverty and hunger and those fighting obesity,” he continued. “Through the Global Dairy Platform, we will continue to push forward with a global effort to make the goodness of dairy contribute more by providing better nutrition, empowering our communities and promoting sustainable agriculture.


“We have made good progress since GDP was formed 11 years ago. At the same time if we are to make a real difference in a world where the pace of change is picking up, we need to be getting better every day and this will take real conviction and belief,” the organisation’s new CEO added.


Mr Spierings, who has been a director on the GDP Board since 2012, will succeed Dairy Farmers of America CEO Rick Smith, who has chaired the organisation since 2015. “It has been a great privilege to serve as GDP's chair,” said Mr Smith. “Over the last two years, GDP has provided strong leadership and strategic thinking to increase the credibility and visibility of the dairy sector in the international community, particularly within the United Nations. We have built a solid foundation to grow on.”


Mr Smith will continue to serve on the board along with Arla Foods’ CEO Peder Tuborgh and Royal FrieslandCampina’s CEO Roelof Joosten.

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