Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific

Hiroyuki Konuma

FAO Regional Representative for Asia-Pacific

WELCOME ADDRESS

of

Hiroyuki Konuma
Assistant Director-General and
FAO Regional Representative for Asia and the Pacific

delivered by

Vili A. Fuavao
Deputy Regional Representative
FAO Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific

at the

World Milk Day

Bangkok, Thailand
1 June 2014

 

Dr Tritsadee Chaosuancharoen, Director-General, Department of Livestock Development,
Mr Noppadon Tunvichien, Director Thai Dairy Farming Promotion Organization,
My dear children, parents, and friends,
Members of the press, 
Ladies and Gentlemen,

It is my pleasure to participate in this fabulous celebration on the occasion of World Milk Day 2014. I am particularly proud of continuing leadership provided by the Dairy Farming Promotion Organization and the Department of Livestock Development, Royal Thai Government, and their collaboration and cooperation with FAO, in these celebrations.

As you know, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations works for improving food security and nutrition and the livelihoods of poor people worldwide. FAO considers milk consumption and production a very important instrument for improving the health and nutrition status of people and for promoting livelihood opportunities for smallholder milk producers in rural areas.

Milk is a highly nutritious food and an excellent source of dietary energy, high-quality protein, vitamins and minerals with the enzymes necessary to completely digest and assimilate these nutrients. It is rich in minerals like calcium, magnesium, zinc, and many others. Its range of vitamins includes A, C, D, E, K, B1, B2, B6, B12, and more. The amino acids present in milk are important building blocks for cells, bones, and muscles. Several studies have shown that milk can be important for growing children and in preventing common problems such as asthma, allergies, tooth decay, influenza, pneumonia and many others. Overall, milk can be a wholesome and healing addition to your diet.

Over the years, Thailand has shown consistent policy support to and provided substantial financial and human investments for the promotion of milk as an essential food, specially for children. Related government programmes have demonstrated that well planned and effectively implemented public schemes such as school milk programmes and awareness raising campaigns can make a big difference in building nutrition conscious healthy citizens.

In addition, and in line with continuing inspiration from his Majesty the King, Thailand has laid a strong foundation for building a bright future for milk production and consumption in the country. Indeed, Thailand stands out as one of few countries that have consciously invested, on a long term basis, in developing dairy animals that are suited to Thai environmental conditions and fostered people-led systems to promote dairy development.

FAO is advocating the promotion of World Milk Day in recognition of multiple benefits of milk consumption and production. The first World Milk Day was celebrated in June 2001 and has since become an annual event celebrated in a large number of countries as a way to focus on helping children make healthy beverage choices and to bring our world closer together. FAO is proud to be present here today to spread the message Asian milk for health and prosperity.

I invite all of you to participate actively in the excitement and educational activities organized here this evening and encourage all of you to make milk a regular item in your food basket. Come, together, let us drink milk and build a strong and happy Thailand.

Thank you.