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Global Opportunities Await Scotland’s Dairy Farmers

NFU Scotland representatives at the World Dairy Summit have returned with their belief in the potential of Scotland’s dairy industry reinforced.

The four-strong delegation, including NFUS dairy committee chairman, Kenny Campbell and NFUS dairy policy manager, George Jamieson, were part funded by the Scottish Government to attend the conference in Parma, Italy, which was jointly organised by the International Dairy Federation and the UN’s Food and Agricultural Organization.

More than one thousand delegates travelled from every continent across the globe to listen to speeches and take part in discussions on topics including growth and sustainability, novel technology, animal health and welfare and sustainable animal feed security.

NFUS dairy policy manager, George Jamieson said:

“We learned a great deal during our trip and met dairy representatives from the well known major dairy players in the world, such as Italy and New Zealand, as well as countries we might not naturally associate with dairying, such as Mongolia and Afghanistan.

“Top of the agenda was the sustainability of dairy production and the challenge of meeting growing global demand for dairy products, particularly given increasing volatility in commodity markets. The discussions really brought home the extent to which we operate in a globalised market and how important it is to understand how other countries and other markets are operating. Ireland and the US, for example, have clear dairy strategies and the US Farm Bill is also currently under discussion. In the meantime, economies and consumer markets in countries such as China are undergoing a revolution.

“Variations do exist; one major point is that even though the issue of sustainability is on everyone’s lips, there is no agreed definition for sustainability itself. 

“It was also very clear that where dairy companies are successful, it is not by magic or pure luck: the people involved in the biggest and best businesses are brave, creative, face up to the challenges and risks involved and know their market and their customers – whether at home or abroad.

“It was also very clear that where dairy companies are successful, it is not by magic or pure luck: the people involved in the biggest and best businesses are brave, creative, face up to the challenges and risks involved and know their market and their customers – whether at home or abroad.

“It was striking, therefore, that despite NFUS, NFU England & Wales and DairyCo being there, there appeared to be a lack of engagement by individual processing companies. Farmers have put a great deal of work into driving their sector forward, particularly in terms of technical efficiency and improved animal health and welfare. We need our processors to become more visionary and more flexible i.e. to look beyond the liquid milk market.

NFUS has very clearly highlighted the price that farmers receive as the number one issue in the UK, and the amount of people who now know what NFUS is doing through its milk price formula and other activities to build the industry is very heartening. Building on what we have learned this week, we hope to be able to ignite similar ambition in the UK.”

Ends

Contact Sarah Anderson on 0131 472 4108

Date Published:

News Article No.: 168/11


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