Innovations in the dairy chain: bio-economic analysis of novel breeding opportunities

R.M. Demeter

Research output: Thesisinternal PhD, WU


In recent years, there has been a growing interest in the dairy sector to move from producing bulk dairy commodities towards producing specialized dairy products aimed at niche markets. Dairy farmers consider shifting from commodity milk to raw milk with specialized composition to meet consumer or industrial demands. In this context, the objectives of the thesis were 1) to assess qualitatively future scenarios to create value added in the dairy chain and 2) to ex-ante assess quantitatively the technical and economic implications at farm level of producing differentiated raw milk by using genetic selection. A two-step approach was applied, where the first step assessed qualitatively the strategic opportunities offered by a wide range of novel methods emerging at various stages in the production chain, whereas the second step assessed quantitatively the implications of specific strategies on farm level. The main findings indicate that creating value added is vital for the sustainable growth of the dairy industry, and producing raw milk with specialized characteristics by using novel breeding concepts can play an important role in this process. The ex-ante quantitative assessments have found no evidence that implementing novel genetic selection strategies to change fat or protein composition in milk would have large effects on herd production and profitability. The stakeholders of the dairy industry should initiate joint action plans to capitalize on the opportunities offered by recent milk genomics research. 
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Awarding Institution
  • Wageningen University
  • van Arendonk, Johan, Promotor
  • Oude Lansink, Alfons, Co-promotor
  • Meuwissen, Miranda, Co-promotor
  • Kristensen, A.R., Co-promotor, External person
Award date20 Dec 2011
Place of Publication[S.l.]
Print ISBNs9789461732088
Publication statusPublished - 2011


  • animal breeding
  • dairy cows
  • dairy industry
  • artificial selection
  • milk products
  • genomics
  • milk fat percentage
  • milk protein percentage


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