The majority of dairy farmers want to see their levy money spent on promoting dairy farming and dairy products to consumers, according to the results of a Farmers Weekly poll.

You can still take part in the Farmers Weekly poll

More than 130 farmers answered our online survey asking them which areas DairyCo should prioritise when it comes to spending levy money, and 71% of them said it was “vital” that the organisation invests in consumer-facing dairy marketing and PR.

I want my levy money spent on…

We asked respondents what else they’d like to see their levy money spent on. Here is a selection of their comments:

  • “DairyCo farmer meetings are hugely valuable and serve as a great (and one of the only) forms of CPD easily available in the dairy industry. To retain and improve staffing for this is vital.”
  • “Training in marketing and sales for dairy farmers to negotiate with buyers.”
  • “More help for younger individuals to find their feet in the dairy industry – such as share farming opportunities.”
  • “Helping to promote export opportunities.”
  • “Cutting staff numbers.”
  • “Winning back the beverage market.”
  • “They need to engage with the processing sector in finding ways to create a better margin for producers. Only then should they get involved with other issues.”
  • “Careers. Where is the next generation gaining knowledge?”

One respondent said: “We keep hearing as farmers that we are in a global market. We need to be more streetwise and market our products to the world. Marketing, marketing, marketing.”

Nearly two-thirds of respondents (64%) said that market information such as milk prices and contracts was also a top priority. And just over half (57%) said they wanted to see funding for scientific research that can be applied on-farm.

The poll also revealed the spending areas that levy payers are least enthusiastic about. Nearly one-third believe that spending levy money on helping farmers to meet environmental targets is “unnecessary”. The same proportion don’t want to see levy cash spent on DairyCo attending industry events. Feeding and nutrition information, along with benchmarking, also rated poorly.

 “The cost of DairyCo’s benchmarking system is massive and only a small number of producers can benefit,” one respondent said. “It needs to be available to everyone who funds it.”

Levy money poll results

Farmers Weekly will share these results with DairyCo, but the organisation is also urging farmers who have a strong view to get in touch, either through the annual consultation which opens on 27 November, or by email, phone or form. Go to www.dairyco.org.uk or see the DairyCo newsletter.

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DairyCo asks how to spend levy money