1 September 2000

DONTMISSOUTONFORUMS, BUT THEYVEMOVED

ONCE again this years European Dairy Farming Event will include a series of Spotlight on Profit forums on important issues for producers.

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.

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. Seating is limited, so arrive early to be sure of a seat, but there is plenty of standing room.

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

At 12 noon John Loftus, the man behind the formation of the Federation of Milk Producers earlier this year, will give his view on the future for UK dairy farming.

Mr Loftus, of Kirkham, Lancs, believes that milk producers need to act together to stop milk price declining. Currently there are more than 100 unco-ordinated selling groups, but seven processors buy 80% of UK milk, he says.

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

Following Mr Bennett, in the last of Wednesdays forums, 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 the rules have all changed. A farmer co-operative needs key ingredients to make the most of the current milk market," says Mr Bird.

On Thursday, dairy industry pundit Barry Wilson is to speak on the current MDC-funded project into milk pricing, which he is helping John Strak of Euro PA and Associates to complete.

The project will include a review of how milk pricing works around the world. Its aim is 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, he says.

Results of the project are expected to be announced at the event.

The final speaker is Richard Asworth who will be reviewing the changing culture of the milk market.

Spotlight on profit forum programme

Wednesday

11am Joyce Quinn, junior farm minister, address from the ministry.

12 noon John Loftus, the Federation of Milk Producers, A future for UK dairy farming.

2.30 Tim Bennett, NFU, title to be announced.

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

Thursday

11am Barry Wilson, Milk Pricing – MDC-funded project.

12 noon Richard Ashworth, UMP, title to be announced.

Spotlight on Profit forums proved popular at last years dairy event, but this year they will take place in the new Exhibition Hall 2 restaurant area.