A Review of the Milk Supply Chain

Date: April 2008

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graphic of a milk jugThe milk review revealed that young women and teenage girls should increase their consumption of milk to improve their calcium intake. It highlighted that consumers have few concerns with regard to the safety of milk and the industry enforcement controls that are in place.

Recent research has revealed that 23% of women are not currently meeting the recommended intake of calcium and furthermore, 42% of teenage girls have inadequate intakes of calcium.

Key facts 

  • Milk is a rich source of calcium, vitamins and protein.
  • Nine out of ten adults on the island of Ireland consume milk and dairy products. Nevertheless, teenage girls and young women are less likely to drink milk than teenage boys and young men. This impacts negatively on their calcium intake.
  • Contrary to common belief milk is not high in fat.
  • For those concerned about their overall fat intake, reduced fat milks such as semiskimmed and skimmed milks, have lower energy content but without significant nutrient loss.
  • Cows’ milk is not suitable as a drink for infants under twelve months. From six months onwards, cows’ milk can be added in small amounts to foods, in order to soften them.
  • Milk bottles graphicIn children’s diets, semi-skimmed (sometimes called ‘low-fat’) milk should not be introduced until two years. Provided that the child is a good eater and has a healthy diet, skimmed milks may be introduced gradually from five years onwards.*
  • Milk and water are healthier options than soft drinks. Flavoured milks offer a good option for children who do not like the flavour of plain milk. Their higher sugar content, however, can affect dental health, so they should be consumed with meals.
  • Pasteurised milk should be stored at a temperature of 5°C or less.

* Consult your GP if you are concerned that your child is not eating or growing well