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Scottish Dairy Hub Agriscot Blog

Farm show and conference disruption is now part of the norm and it looks likely to continue in the short term.  Therefore, alternative events like an online Agriscot are welcome as it gives the sector an opportunity to continue the familiar in unfamiliar surroundings.  

Since taking the decision to cancel their physical event, back in late July, the AgriScot team have been working behind the scenes to deliver an event which,  www.hopin.to/events/agriscot-2020 will feel a lot different, but will be definitely worthy of a visit.

The Scottish Dairy Hub celebrated its sixth year earlier in the summer and the organisation has come a long way since it was established in 2014.  The Hub has handled thousands of enquiries from the sector and offers a free, confidential, farmer information service which offers all dairy farmers and service providers a one stop shop. One of the key dates in our diary is Agriscot, as it gives us a fantastic opportunity to meet farmers and stakeholders face to face.  It absolutely is vital that, like previous years, we will be having our eagerly anticipated “Dairy Hub Question Time Seminar” on 18 November.

One of the key challenges of the Dairy Hub seminar is delivering a panel that interests the audience, and this year is as good as ever.  

Chair of levy body AHDB, Nicholas Saphir has a wide background in agriculture and horticulture, having built a public company farming, processing and trading fruit and vegetables in the UK, Europe, Southern Africa and South America.

Nicholas’s dairy experience includes spending the last 18 years building up the Organic Milk Producers' Cooperative into the world’s second largest dedicated organic milk cooperative with exports of cheese, butter and infant formula grade milk powders to the USA, EU and Australasia. He also has a long and successful record of chairing industry and government bodies in the food and farming sector

Robert Graham brings an innate understanding of dairy farming and business development to the panel as managing director of the Bridge of Allan-based Graham’s The Family Dairy.

Graham’s The Family Dairy produces an award-winning home-grown range of the highest quality food and drink which is all made using the finest Scottish ingredients from 100 specially selected farming partners who follow Graham’s key values of family, farming, heritage, provenance and quality.  

From their family farm in the heart of Scotland, Graham’s has grown through three generations and is now proudly Scotland’s No.1 chosen food brand.  With Covid, Brexit and all that the milk supply chain throws at him, Robert is very much at the coal face of the industry and his views and insights will be fascinating to hear.

Familiar to many, Chris Walkland is an agricultural journalist, market analyst and consultant specialising in the dairy sector. He has written for the main UK monthly magazines for around 25 years on all aspects of the dairy supply chain from primary production down on the farm through to the economics and politics at processor, retailer and consumer level.  

Chris also writes the fortnightly dairy market report for The Provision Trade Federation, and a monthly comment column in the British farming magazine British Dairying.  Chris will give an overview of the industry in his own unique style, and it will be intriguing to gaze into his crystal ball.

There are some very important issues on the horizon for dairy farmers in Scotland and this is a great opportunity to get some key messages across and listen to feedback from the farmers themselves.  Covid, Brexit, the environment, the milk contract consultation and changing consumer perception of dairy will all be topics that will no doubt be at the forefront of the discussion.

The strength of this event is interaction, so I would urge any farmer or stakeholder that wants to ensure there question is presented to the panel that they send it in advance to  info@scottishdairyhub.org.uk marked Agriscot 2020 and it will be posed to the panel on the day.

The Dairy Hub Seminar event takes place at 1.00pm on Wednesday 18 November and is part of a packed agenda.

Virtual spaces are limited, so please register now to secure your place at www.hopin.to/events/agriscot-2020  

We look forward to seeing you all virtually on the day.

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