7 June 2002

LESSONSFROM IRISH?

In the years since deregulation of the Milk Marketing Board much has changed in UK dairying. The same is true in Ireland, although it has retained its dairy board, which serves as the export agent, owning the Kerrygold brand.

Although the IDB does not set the price, it admits it does have an influence. So how does the UK compare?

Our UK milk price is supposed to be demand and supply led. That sounds fair, but why then is it lower than our European colleagues? Lack of efficient processing capacity is one of our downfalls. But this is now being addressed with ventures by United Milk, Amelca and other co-ops.

But the Irish have another asset, a strong brand, and the benefits of branded goods are clearly seen with the success of Coca-Cola. And dare we mention the branded commodities Anchor and Lurpak butter?

Would another good co-operation plan be for all those co-ops investing in processing to brand all British milk products under a single name and promote it with the supermarkets and public? Then UK producers could see the benefits the Irish do with the premium it earns with its Kerrygold brand.

Farmer Focus 4

Irish Dairy Boards future view 6

Switching to Jerseys 8

Reducing cell counts by group 10

Machinery: Finding a digger bargain 12

Whole-crop finding Scottish flavour 14

Common dairy farm insurance claims 16

Joint venture partners see benefits 18

Latest PLI and TOP ranking 20

Leafy milk production is more green 22

Edited by Jessica Buss

Next issue July 5