Discussing dairy with Dr. Mike Johnston

Discussing dairy with Dr. Mike Johnston

We sat with Dr. Mike Johnston, chief executive of the dairy council for Northern Ireland, to hear about the challenges facing the dairy industry and what’s to come.

How is the dairy industry faring?
Supply in the dairy industry has been limited for numerous reasons in several key countries around the world. However, demand from some Asian countries, such as China, has continued. So at the moment, what we’re seeing is something of a mismatch between supply and demand.

What were some of the industry highlights in 2021?
One of the highlights was being able to continue to produce milk and dairy products and serve our clients during the pandemic. It was a tremendous challenge, but we managed to supply our customers throughout the crisis. We’re very grateful to all those in our supply chain for the work they have put in over the past year. The challenge is to keep that going, because Covid-19 hasn’t disappeared; we have to live with it. I think that the challenge now will be to try to help our customers meet demand, given the worldwide shortage of supply.

What do you forecast for the industry?
I think that the industry is actually very well placed in terms of the investments that have been made throughout the supply chain. Furthermore, I anticipate that the industry will continue to reduce its carbon footprint. Sustainability and environmental issues are significant.

 What projects are you working on?
We will be investing heavily in innovation and coming up with ways to reduce our carbon footprint throughout our dairy supply chain.

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About author

Rita Ghantous

Rita Ghantous is a hospitality aficionado and a passionate writer with over 9 years’ experience in journalism and 5 years experience in the hospitality sector. Her passion for the performance arts and writing, started early. At 10 years old she was praised for her solo performance of the Beatles song “All My Love” accompanied by a guitarist, and was approached by a French talent scout during her school play. However, her love for writing was stronger. Fresh out of school, she became a freelance journalist for Noun Magazine and was awarded the Silver Award Cup for Outstanding Poetry, by The International Library of Poetry (Washington DC). She studied Business Management and earned a Masters degree from Saint Joseph University (USJ), her thesis was published in the Proche-Orient, Études en Management book. She then pursued a career in the hospitality industry but didn’t give up writing, that is why she launched the Four Points by Sheraton Le Verdun Newsletter. Her love for the industry and journalism led her to Hospitality Services - the organizers of the HORECA trade show in Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Jordan, as well as Salon Du Chocolat, Beirut Cooking Festival, Whisky Live and other regional shows. She is currently the Publications Executive of Hospitality News Middle East, Taste & Flavors and Lebanon Traveler. It is with ultimate devotion for her magazines that she demonstrates her hospitality savoir-faire.

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