The profitability of milk production in the developing world varies widely among farming systems. This results from poor animal productivity and an inefficient marketing-chain structure in which farmers seldom profit from their dairying activities. The lack of chilling facilities for milk storage and the need to adulterate the raw product along the market chain to enhance profit margins means that consumers are not well catered for. Co-operative selling of milk, along with the acquisition of higher-quality feeds and veterinary medicines, has boosted the financial resilience of small-holder farming communities worldwide, although, in many regions, the co-operative model has not succeeded largely through a lack of trust between families even within the communities. Commercial reality dictates that farming communities work together to achieve financial sustainability, although the model adopted for each community may differ. Although milk has traditionally provided many consumers with their only source of animal protein, vitamin and minerals, we are now discovering its many other virtues, particularly in relation to cognitive development and memory retention and the provision of antioxidants. The impact of milk-processing technology on some of these remarkable properties requires further investigation to ensure that milk consumers worldwide benefit from these positive attributes.