UK: Dairy industry consultation on future of sector

Dairy debate

Dairy debate - Credit: Archant

The National Farmers’ Union (NFU) is calling on processors, retailers and farmers in the dairy industry to contribute to a ground-breaking consultation on the future of the sector.

The discussion document, A Strategy for the British Dairy Industry, was launched this week during the dairy break-out session at the NFU Conference.

It aims to bring the industry together to come up with a working strategy that will be launched at the Livestock Event (incorporating Dairy) at the NEC in July.

NFU dairy board chairman Mansel Raymond, said British milk was in demand. “We cannot afford to be left behind,” he added.

“We’re starting a conversation with farmers, processors, retailers and everyone with an interest in the dairy industry about a robust, ambitious strategy for its future development,” he said.

“Since the Dairy Coalition committed to agree a strategy last year, the NFU dairy board has kicked off the process. Our focused working group, which has drawn on the expertise of NFU board members, DairyCo and Dairy UK has developed a set of key assumptions, which we intend to discuss in the coming months.

“We believe this strategy must be based on growth in output of milk in Britain. Our starting point is growth that at least keeps pace with the growing global market place. If we fail to do this, then relatively speaking we are falling behind in terms of scale and potentially efficiency.

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“The British dairy industry has a lot going for it and what we must do now is organise ourselves to thrive in a brave new world where quota restrictions are lifted and demand is growing,” he said.

“I am delighted by Muller Wiseman’s latest announcement of a 1ppl bonus for new and increased milk supply. This is clear evidence that British milk is in demand, strong market signals and price stimulus are what producers are looking for right now.”