Dairy Strategy Talks Commence In North England

UK - The National Farmers' Union (NFU) dairy team has met with over 200 dairy farmers in the north of England as part of its work to develop a new strategy for the next decade in dairying.
calendar icon 5 April 2011
clock icon 2 minute read
National Farmers Union

Meetings were held over three days between Scarborough and Carlisle which provided an opportunity to road test a number of emerging ideas and themes with the NFU’s dairy farming members.

Speaking after the final meeting in Cheshire, NFU dairy board chairman Mansel Raymond said: “No matter where a dairy farmer is based in the country, no matter which milk buyer they supply or which system they operate we all have one thing in common - trying to make a profit from producing milk.

“It has been a tough 12 months for us all but I’m pleased to say that the dairy industry seems to be turning a corner, with some record milk prices being paid for milk and cheese. The bad news is that the cost of producing a litre of milk is also at a record high, which means that many dairy farmers are yet again struggling to make a decent living from producing milk.

“Our member meetings have focused on how we can address some of the problems in the dairy supply chain; how we can unlock the huge potential that exists to produce more milk for markets at home and abroad; and how we can develop milk contracts that are fit for the 21st Century, which dairy farmers so desperately need.”

Russell Bowman, NFU North West dairy board chairman, said: “Farmers have taken the opportunity to feed in their ideas and views to the NFU’s lobbying work. The EU Commission’s dairy package in particular has sparked a lot of interest. There are some exciting proposals on the table that could make a real difference to the way we sell our milk and negotiate with milk buyers. For example, many dairy farmers would like to sell their milk to more than one buyer and have more influence over the price they receive for it.”

NFU North East dairy board chairman David Shaw said: “Our meetings have been challenging at times but our members have an important role to play in driving the direction of our strategy and it’s important for them to have their say. Above all, it is the dairy farmers who are doing the job day-in day-out who are best placed to know what can be improved.”

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