Dairy Event Debate Must Drive Industry Forward

The nation’s dairy farmers, milk processors and retailers have been invited to attend crucial debates taking place at the Dairy Event in Birmingham on September 6, aimed at driving wholesale changes into the whole dairy supply chain.

The debates, scheduled for the Royal Association of British Dairy Farmers’ stand at 12.00 noon and 3.00pm follow up from an initiative started by NFUS in May.  It is aimed at creating a more viable, and market orientated supply chain and bringing to an end years of severe instability for those producing milk. 

One of the key principles being explored by NFUS is the justifiable inclusion of a transparent, market related pricing mechanism into all dairy contracts between producer and milk buyer.

The proposal for change received unanimous endorsement from Scottish dairy farmers in May, has been widely explored with other Unions and fellow dairy farmers in England and Wales over the summer, and private meetings with all major processors and retailers have been held.

The debates at the Dairy Event, entitled “Opportunity – Take it or Lose It”, will be chaired by industry commentator Ian Potter and will feature NFU Scotland Milk Committee Chairman Kenneth Campbell, First Milk Chief Executive, Kate Allum and Dairy UK Director General, Jim Begg.

Speaking ahead of the important debates, Kenneth Campbell said:

“Current supply chain arrangements continue to frustrate producers by delivering the worst farmgate price in Europe, reduced confidence at farm level and ongoing failure to tackle years of instability at the supply end of the chain.  All that is set against a backdrop of strong world and EU markets and significant opportunity for growth.

“The status quo is not an option and for the good of the whole dairy industry, we must map out a clear route forward that benefits all parts of the chain.

“We have a clear mandate from dairy farmers to pursue solutions that will create a viable, and market orientated alternative to years of severe instability for the whole dairy supply chain.  It is a proposal based on creating constructive dialogue with all interested parties, to give primary producers the confidence to invest in their herds going forward and, as a result, grow both their business and the UK dairy industry as a whole. 

“That is an ambition that we hope all parties can buy into.   These debates are an opportunity for producers, processors and retailers alike to send a clear signal that they are happy to embrace significant changes to supply chain arrangements for the long term good of the dairy sector in this country.

“I urge all with an interest in the future well-being of our dairy industry to attend and contribute at these discussions.”  

Notes to Editors

  • The National Dairy Event is being held at the Birmingham NEC, on September 6 and 7.
  • On Tuesday, September 6, NFU Scotland will host “The Great Dairy Debate -Opportunity - Take it or lose it?”  The debates will take place on the RABDF stand at 12 noon and again at 3pm.
  • NFU Scotland has secured a discount ticket deal for members wishing to attend the event.  Daily tickets, normally priced at £20 are available to members for £16.  Contact NFU Scotland on 0131 472 4000 for more details.


Contact Bob Carruth on 0131 472 4006

Date Published:

News Article No.: 145/11

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