Nowdays, when factories invest money in advertising products, government officials publicly talk about the dominance of falsification or uselessness of milk consumption. In 2018, the state support of the dairy sector amounted to about 30 billion rubles. How much was invested in the development of dairy enterprises is not easy to calculate. It is even more difficult to calculate how much was lost from the statements of “experts" and senior officials.
Daria Khalturina, Head of the risk factors prevention Department of the Central Research Institute of organization and informatization of health care of the Russian Ministry of health, said in an interview to “The Rossiyskaya Gazeta” that adults should consume on average 200 g of dairy products per day. In addition, she noted that after the use of 400 g, the effect ceases to be positive. According to her, dairy products are a source of many useful nutrients; consumption of dairy products in moderate quantities is associated with a decrease in mortality from all causes.
After that, the freelance nutritionist of the Ministry of health Victor Tutelyan told TASS that he does not know about any norms of restriction of consumption of dairy products - there are no official, evidence-based data. According to the nutritionist, for a healthy or even sick person who does not have digestive disorders, the use of such products is useful. People with food intolerance or contraindications for health should limit the consumption of dairy products, Tutelyan stressed.
Two different opinions of officials are not the only case of a broad interpretation of the benefits of dairy products. At the same time, officials often do not follow how their statements are replicated in the media.
The Rosselkhoznadzor permanently declares the share of falsification in dairy products of the Russian Federation from 21% to 50%, and in some regions up to 80% and even 100%.
Figures and statements about falsification in milk circulate so steadily that most enterprises no longer pay attention to them - in an interview with The DairyNews manufacturers admit that “it is easier not to react to statements than to focus on them". However, for consumers, most of whom watch TV, listen to the radio and believe the “experts" behind the screen, constant statements about the harm and falsification of milk are an incentive to refuse to buy.
In the national report on the implementation of the state program for the development of agriculture, it is said that the consumption of milk per capita in 2018 remained at the level of the previous year and amounted to 225.2 kg at the recommended rate of 325 kg. The authors of the report explain that this is due to the preservation of the level of total resources of milk and dairy products, as well as to the rise in the cost of dairy products in terms of reducing the real income of the population.
According to the Russian Dairy Research Center, milk consumption in Russia amounted to 153 kg in 2018, slightly increasing.
Meanwhile, more and more consumers can hear that milk producers and processors cannot be trusted and it is not possible to find natural milk on the shelves of stores.
The graph shows 114 countries. As you can see, Russia is on the 63 place between Lebanon and India.
There is potential for Russia to grow. Of course, nutrition is only one factor in life expectancy. But in Ireland, where 733 kg of milk per capita is consumed - life expectancy is on average 82 years, in Russia, where consumption in recent years was 149-153 kg per capita the indicator reaches 72.7 years. The Netherlands, where milk consumption is also high, has an average life expectancy of 81 years.
In all these countries, milk consumption is maintained from an early age, the fight against falsification is merciless and fines issued to dishonest producers are so big that they do not leave the opportunity to continue illegal activities. It is unclear when Russia will cease to reinvent the wheel and “to apply labels on the shelves".
The latest initiative to stimulate milk consumption “to separate shelves for dairy and milk-containing products" has already been evaluated negatively by enterprises and manufacturers.
Mikhail Mishchenko, Director of the Russian Dairy Research Center (DIA)
- Multidirectional statements of officials confirm the systemic crisis in public administration. Experts, representatives of departments, seem to participate in some meetings, commissions and at the same time say the opposite things. Where there should be synergy, completely different concepts are pushed. Such statements can, in my opinion, be caused by financing from private companies. Or it is a very low level of professionalism - lack of analytical data, understanding of how consumption is formed in the world and misunderstanding of the essence of the problem. Even scientists with knowledge do not study and improve their skills. Unfortunately, this again indicates a systemic crisis in the governance of the state.
Sergey Rezunenko, director of "Kiselman South"
- The position of the state is very important in forming the consumption of dairy products. Citizens believe what officials and experts say in the media, unfortunately, the majority of consumers.
In my opinion, any negative conversations on the quality of dairy products discourage the population to buy it. Today we offer the consumer to think, read the label, find out whether there is a substitute for milk fat in the composition and this does not stimulate consumption, only confuses citizens more. Clean label in this regard is very relevant - the consumer needs to know that the product contains only milk (+ sour and berries, for example) and that is all. The consumer does not need anything more.