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Driving Forward a Scottish Dairy Strategy

Five Scottish organisations have given a clear signal of commitment to drive forward Scotland’s dairy industry and place it firmly on the international map.

The group – including representatives from the Scottish Government, Scottish Development International (SDI), Scotland Food & Drink and Dairy UK – met at NFU Scotland headquarters at Ingliston yesterday (Tuesday, 29 May) to plot out its strategy.  The SDI representation included people from its offices in China and Japan.

The Scottish dairy strategy working group has set itself the following aims:

  • To establish new opportunities – both domestically and internationally for Scottish milk and dairy products
  • To establish how we support these opportunities
  • To instil confidence and drive ambition throughout the whole Scottish dairy supply chain
  • To create a strong Scottish brand for milk and dairy products
  • Understanding where Scottish products can fit into the European and global dairy market.
  • Look at scope for inward investment in the dairy sector

Research work is already underway through Scottish Development International (SDI) to understand global markets and research opportunities and look at international benchmarking.  The group will meet again in early August by when the international research will have been completed.

NFU Scotland Vice President, Allan Bowie said:

“Scotland has huge natural advantages when it comes to the production of milk and our producers operate on a scale and with a level of efficiency that puts them in the premier league world-wide.  That not only makes Scotland attractive to inward investment but provides the sound production base needed if Scotland is to make the most of the potential that exists in both domestic and global markets for milk and dairy products.

Rural Affairs Secretary Richard Lochhead said:

"The dairy sector is an important part of both rural Scotland and the wider food and drink sector. It is ideally placed to make the most of its natural assets, stock management and processing skills by developing new markets for its quality produce.  This strategy will provide a clear focus on how we can work together with the industry to maximise its undoubted potential.”

Scotland Food & Drink Chief Executive, James Withers said:

"We need to forge a new direction for the Scottish dairy industry.  The global appetite for dairy products, twinned with Scotland's growing reputation for food and drink, presents opportunities we haven't seen before.  We need to be ambitious and challenge the current ways of working if we are to drive added value right through the chain. That means building a new, international platform for the Scottish industry and capitalising on growing customer loyalty at home."

Dairy UK’s Scottish Director, Kirk Hunter said:

“Seizing a bigger share of growing world dairy markets must be a key focus for the Scottish dairy industry. Scotland has the capability to develop the necessary competitive edge - world class milk producers, a well invested and diverse processing sector, a range of well-respected brands, existing healthy export sales and the strong foundation of the domestic market.  To succeed our efforts need to be placed within a strategic framework involving a partnership between Government and the industry - working together to achieve a common aim: the creation of an environment within the Scottish dairy industry where entrepreneurial flair can flourish to the benefit of the entire supply chain.”

Ends

Contact Bob Carruth on 0131 472 4006

Date Published:

News Article No.: 51/12


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