3 September 1999

Generic milk ads – dairy men to vote

BALLOT forms have been sent to all registered dairy farmers in Britain asking if they will sanction the introduction of a compulsory levy to fund generic milk advertising.

Announcing that the voting forms had been dispatched, junior farm minister Joyce Quin said: "Because of the financial implications such a move would have on producers, ministers have decided to consult them before taking a final decision."

Completed forms must be returned to MAFF by Oct 15. Ministers will then consider the results alongside the responses to a separate consultation exercise involving wider industry interests.

Farmers are being asked if they will pay 0.03p/litre of milk produced. If they vote in favour, the money will be collected by the Milk Development Council, in addition to the levy it already takes for research and development work, and passed to the National Dairy Council.

It will be matched by funds from liquid milk dairies, generating a total of about £7m a year for an advertising campaign.

All the farming unions are urging producers to vote in favour of the proposal.

yes. They believe that national advertising is needed to halt the decline in milk consumption, which, in turn, will bolster producer returns.