The Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), a legally binding international instrument for the management of biological diversity, has tree objectives:
  • conservation of biological diversity
  • sustainable use of the components of biological diversity
  • fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising from the utilization of biological diversity
The most rational and sustainable way to conserve farm animal genetic resources is to ensure that native locally adapted breeds are functional parts of the production system. This requires characterization and identification of the economically important and potentially unique attributes.

When it comes to  native farm animal breeds, phenotypic and genetic documentation of breed specific characteristics are often lacking. Characterization of milk from native breeds in the Nordic countries is important as it contributes to the recognition of the specific values of these breeds. Investigation of breed specific milk properties is an important component in validation of the integrity of the stakeholders involved in the practical conservation work at present. Additionally, if milk from the native breeds result in development of dairy products attractive to consumers, more farmers are encouraged to adopt cows from native breeds in their dairy herd.