Since a large part of the world does not have enough milk and milk products, it is important to consider every possible means of increasing the supply. A substantial potential increase can be found in the use of skim milk, a food of high nutritive value which can be supplied at a much lower cost than the same nutrients in whole milk. An increase in the consumption of skim milk would greatly improve the nutritional status of millions of people, particularly children.
At present the greatest part of the skim milk remaining after the manufacture of butter is fed to animals and some of it may even be thrown away. The two problems which immediately arise are: how to encourage increased consumption of dried skim milk, and how to assure stable markets to the producers. Unless the farmer has other protein feed for his animals at a cost no greater than that of the skim milk, he will feed the milk to his animals. Arrangements should be made, where feasible, to collect whole milk rather than cream from the farmers, and factories should have equipment to process skim milk for human consumption. No such arrangements can be successful, however, until a stable demand for skim milk products is created.
There is need to convince consumers of the nutritive value of skim milk, its low cost, and its palatability when properly reconstituted. Methods of using the skim milk and its products should be more widely known: school-feeding programs can contribute to spreading this knowledge. In order to secure larger production, feeding programs should be developed to ensure consumption of the proportion of total output designed for use in the producing country. Long-term guarantees of demand are needed in order to stimulate production for export.
The report presented to the Council (CL 2/7) analyzed these problems and also stressed the importance of organizing milk supplies so that whole milk, either fluid or processed, is made available to young children. The International Children's Emergency Fund, in collaboration with FAO, has made a survey of the milk supply position in a number of countries in Europe and has requested further assistance of FAO in helping Governments in their plans for increasing production of milk and ensuring the best use of the milk supply for children, adolescents, and pregnant and nursing women.
The Council recommends that the milk supply position in Europe, with special reference to the needs of young children, should be further investigated by FAO both at headquarters and through the European office.
The Council also suggests that FAO, in collaboration with WHO, should examine existing regulations in different countries controlling the import and sale of skim milk, with a view to discovering whether these operate to prevent or restrict the consumption of skim milk by older children.