The Scottish dairy industry is missing out on “clear opportunities” to tap into valuable export markets, according to a new report.

There is a growing world market for dairy products with good provenance of the type Scotland can produce, says the interim report, presented to the Scottish dairy strategy working group this week.

Branding, market research and investment are required but opportunities for Scottish dairy produce exist in niche, value added and premium markets, says the report, published by Scottish Development International and Scotland Food and Drink.

The report cites the export success of the Irish Dairy Board as a model that merits further examination.

The report recommends building value into the Scottish dairy supply chain, increasing milk producers’ confidence in the industry and reducing milk processors’ current reliance on domestic giant retailers.

It concludes that investing in the development of value added products and markets will play an important part in revenue generation.

Allan Bowie, NFU Scotland vice president, said: “Huge potential exists in world markets for dairy.

“While companies have started to tap into demand for commodity dairy products, scope is there for adding value and developing the Scottish brand.

“Scottish dairy farmers will look at the success of whisky, salmon and beef in selling the Scottish story and believe that our dairy produce can make it into the same premier league.”
Allan Bowie, NFU Scotland’s vice president

“Scottish dairy farmers will look at the success of whisky, salmon and beef in selling the Scottish story and believe that our dairy produce can make it into the same premier league.”

Scotland’s rural affairs secretary Richard Lochhead said: “This interim report confirms that potentially lucrative export opportunities exist for the Scottish dairy sector.

“Our task now is to ensure we take advantage of our burgeoning international reputation as a land of food and drink to fully exploit these opportunities.”

Following the meeting, further work on the interim report will now be undertaken before final publication.

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