15 September 2000

BETTERPRICETIPSATSPOTLIGHT ON PROFIT

WANT to find out how UK milk producers can secure better prices and a profitable future? Then be sure to attend this years Spotlight on Profit forums at the European Dairy Farming Event on Sept 20 and 21.

The forums will follow the same format as previous years with time for questions and discussion after each speaker. However, this year the forums have moved to the restaurant in the new Exhibition Hall 2, which can be accessed through the hall or off Avenue M.

Forums will begin at 11am on Wednesday with an address from junior farm minister Joyce Quinn.

At noon John Loftus, who was behind the formation of the Federation of Milk Producers earlier this year will give his views on the future for UK dairy farming. He believes milk producers need to act together to stop milk price declining (Livestock, Sept 8).

At 2.30pm on Wednesday, Tim Bennett, west Wales milk producer and NFU deputy president, will give his views on the industry.

Following Mr Bennett, Chris Bird, Zenith managing director, will explain why milk producer co-operatives need to focus on being commercial businesses.

"We are operating in a new environment this year and all the rules have changed. A farmer co-operative needs key ingredients to make the most of the current milk market," says Mr Bird.

Thursdays forums will begin at 10.30am with Andrew Fearne and Stephen Bates, of the department of agricultural economics and business management, Imperial College at Wye, Kent.

Dr Fearne and Dr Bates have been investigating how producers can influence the price of milk through co-operation (Livestock, Sept 1). The results of this MDC-funded project began just four months ago will be the topic of their forum.

"Our vision is a vertically integrated supply chain with producers working in harmony rather than conflict with their buyers," says Dr Fearne.

They will be followed by dairy industry pundit Barry Wilson at 11am. He will speak on the current MDC-funded project he is helping John Strak of Euro PA and Associates to complete.

The project aims to find a robust method of applying a formula to milk pricing in the UK that is fair for producers and processors. The solution must also be legal, sensible and acceptable to the whole industry, says the MDC.

In the final session, at noon, Richard Ashworth of UMP will be reviewing the changing culture of the milk market and providing a strategy for the future (see below).

The Spotlight on Profit sponsors, HSBC Agriculture, the Royal Association of British Dairy Farmers, MDC, DRC and farmers weekly, welcome all event visitors to attend the forums.

Spotlight on Profit forum programme

Wednesday

11am Joyce Quinn, junior farm minister Address from the ministry

Noon John Loftus, Federation of Milk Producers A Future for UK dairy farming.

2.30pm Tim Bennett, NFU

3.15pm Chris Bird, Zenith Making the most of the milk market

Thursday

10.30am Andrew Fearne and Stephen Bates, Wye Co-operative marketing for milk

11am Barry Wilson Milk pricing – MDC-funded project

Noon Richard Ashworth, UMP A strategy for the future