Dairy Industry Must Prepare For The Future

UK - The UK dairy industry must prepare for future opportunities despite the most difficult set of economic circumstances for a generation.
calendar icon 4 July 2011
clock icon 2 minute read

Speaking at the organisation’s annual dinner in London, Neil Kennedy, vice-chairman of Dairy UK and chief executive of Milk Link, told an audience of industry and political leaders: “Looking at our industry, I would contend that we have grounds for cautious optimism”.

“It is undoubtedly true that depressed UK consumer confidence, and as a result spending, coupled with rising costs, is placing a strain on the whole supply chain. On farms, for example, higher costs have eroded a lot of the benefit of price increases and with it the rise in confidence seen in 2010. A collaborative approach is required from the supply chain to address these issues and the opportunities which might arise from the EU dairy package.”

Mr Kennedy went on to explain why fundamental principles of the market place remain sound: “The global supply-demand balance is in our favour, commodity markets were strong over the past year and farm gate prices have been on an upward trend. As an industry we are continuing to see increased investment in new processing facilities, greater product and packaging innovation and highly creative marketing campaigns.”

Mr Kennedy identified the environment and nutrition as key areas in the coming year. On the environment, Mr Kennedy said that the industry was justly proud of the Dairy Roadmap, but the challenge was to stay ahead of the curve. “Whilst there’s never a good time to ask the sector to change its practices in pursuit of environmental efficiency, environmental efficiency almost invariably equates to business efficiency” he said.

On the nutritional value of milk and dairy products, Mr Kennedy said that this was “something that we should all stand shoulder to shoulder on. The public know our products, they like them and they value them - and we should never lose sight of that”.

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