24 September 1998
Dairy societies’ merger ‘complete by January’

By FWi staff

THE proposed merger between the countrys two leading dairy societies could be completed within three months.

Representatives of the British Holstein Society and the Holstein Friesian Society will begin the final stage of unification at a meeting next week, according to proposals unveiled yesterday (Wednesday).

The new single society is expected to be up and running from 1 January next year. If all goes to plan, it will be unveiled at the National Holstein Show on 17-18 February, 1999.

The chairmen of the two dairy societies involved in the merger said the case for a single society had never been more pressing. They now need to convince their members that such a move is in everyones interests.

Martin Alford, chairman of the British Holstein Society, urged members to forget past problems and look forward to a united future.

“We need to set aside the prejudices of the past and give our unequivocal support to the unification recommendations,” he told listeners at the European Dairy Event, Stoneleigh, Warwickshire.

Edward Taylor, chairman of the Holstein Friesian Society, said the merger would be result in a stronger society, which would be more powerful than two smaller bodies.

But he acknowledged that many dairy farmers hold very strongly individual views on dairy breeds.

“It would, therefore, be quite extraordinary if the detailed recommendations now in front of us found immediate and universal favour with everyone,” he said.