Union Calls for Scottish Diary Marketing Group

NFUS responds to Scottish Dairy Review

NFU Scotland has called for the creation of a new Scottish Dairy Marketing Group to ensure all parts of the nation’s dairy sector capitalise on the growing demand for milk and dairy products.

In its response to the Scottish Government’s Scottish Dairy Review, the Union fully supports its ambition to create a new strategic direction which everyone involved in the industry – from farmgate through to processing and retailing – can get behind.

The review chairman, James Withers, specifically asked stakeholders the following: “What is the single biggest step we can take to forge a sustainable and profitable Scottish dairy sector?”  NFU Scotland believes the biggest single step the Scottish dairy sector can take is to charge a Scottish dairy marketing group with developing a co-ordinated industry-wide approach.  However, the Union also believes that the dairy industry itself is at a crossroads and decisions need to be taken with a degree of urgency.

NFU Scotland’s Milk Committee Chairman, Gary Mitchell said:

“The dairy sector in Scotland is at a crossroads.  Some of the themes being discussed as part of the review are not new but the review gives them new focus.  It is crucial for the future of the dairy sector in Scotland that any recommendations that emerge from the process are driven forward with an appropriate degree of urgency.

“From a Scottish perspective, there is undoubted potential in galvanising producers, processors and co-ops based in Scotland under a Scottish Group with generic ambitions, helping not only to identify markets, but assist in such issues as trade barriers, routes to market, even payment.

“If we are to grow the Scottish dairy sector, both at production and processing levels, then it will be led by developing new and existing markets. To inspire investment in processing we must identify the right markets, the routes to these, the products we need and a pricing model, which returns on the investment. That processor investment also needs to be underpinned by confidence at the production level, and that will be secured by fair and transparent pricing for milk at the farmgate.

“It is widely accepted that dairy market growth should be sufficient to accommodate significant production growth. The Scottish dairy sector has the opportunity not only to develop in these growing markets, but also consolidate and develop markets within the UK and Europe.  The UK’s growing trade deficit in dairy products of £1.3 billion shows that the scope for improvement is considerable.

“The review should also see the positives in identifying and promoting the advantages of the ‘Scottish Brand’, tapping into our unique selling points to add value to dairy products produced and processed in Scotland.  That is something that Scottish dairy farmers would buy into.”

Notes to Editors

  • Scotland’s Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs & Environment Richard Lochhead asked James Withers, CEO of Scotland Food & Drink to lead a review of Scotland's dairy sector. You will find the full remit and background  to the review here
  • Details on the Scottish Dairy Review consultation can be found at:
  • In its submission to the Scottish Dairy Review, NFU Scotland strongly suggests the review appraises and promotes a specific dairy marketing group. This could potentially be based on existing organisations e.g. Scotland Food & Drink (SFD), Scottish Development International (SDI), Scottish Enterprise (SE), Scottish Agricultural Organisation Society (SAOS) but also dairy specialists such as NFU Scotland, DairyCo and Dairy UK (DUK).  The collaboration must include a new and ambitious marketing strategy, a more ambitious, flexible, efficient processing sector and an increasingly technically efficient production sector on farm, with more united and professional farmer representation off farm.


Contact Bob Carruth on 0131 472 4006

Date Published:

News Article No.: 63/13

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