Positive Future for Welsh dairy Industry

WALES, UK - With demand for dairy products growing around the world at a rate of two to three per cent a year DairyCo Chairman, and Carmarthenshire farmer, Tim Bennett, strongly believes there are real opportunities for Welsh dairy farmers.
calendar icon 23 January 2012
clock icon 2 minute read
National Farmers Union

He told NFU Cymru Council members, when he addressed them recently, that he sees a positive future ahead for the Welsh dairy industry.

Mr Bennett explained the future market potential by using an example he’d heard recently at a conference in Australia. He told NFU Cymru Council members how a person living in a rural area of China consumes three kilograms of dairy products a year but when that same person moves to an urban area they rapidly increase their intake to 70 kilograms and it wouldn’t be long before the average urban dweller in China moves up to consuming 170 kilograms of dairy – which is the same as this country.

Another positive for the future according to Mr Bennett was the average age of a dairy farmer. A recent DairyCo survey revealed that contrary to popular belief about the average age of a farmer getting older, of those dairy farmers in Wales looking to expand, 69 per cent of them are under 30 years of age, compared to 23 per cent being over 60 and 73 per cent of those interviewed have successors.

Even though the market analysis information suggests real opportunities for the future of Welsh dairy farmers, and consumer acceptance of farmers is at an all-time high of around 75 per cent, Mr Bennett said he was puzzled as to why those Welsh dairy farmers surveyed were more pessimistic about the future than dairy farmers across the rest of the UK.

He told NFU Cymru members that DairyCo just cannot convince Welsh dairy farmers that the public’s perception of dairy farmers is positive and that they are valued!

Mr Bennett said: “DairyCo is aware that there are challenges facing dairy farmers in the not too distant future including the end of milk quotas, the Common Agricultural Policy reforms, milk prices, the rising costs of inputs and red-tape, but we’ve grown the industry in the last couple of years against a difficult backdrop and there’s nothing to say that we can’t continue to grow the industry in the future.”

Stephen James, NFU Cymru Deputy President and a dairy farmer from Pembrokeshire thanked Tim Bennett for his presentation and said it was good to have such positive feedback from DairyCo to use when representing the industry.

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