27 September 1996

Stay competitive, UKurged

UK DAIRY farmers have little to fear in future provided they continue to improve competitiveness.

That was the message from ADASs John Summer speaking at the launch of the companys Forward with Blueprints document.

But he warned dairy farmers against complacency. Although the UK dairy industry was currently buoyant, 1995 marked the peak of profitability and incomes were now likely to show a steady decline – at least into the foreseeable future.

ADAS chief executive Phillip Needham forecast that EUmilk production would remain at best static, and could even fall by the end of the century.

Meanwhile the US, Australia and New Zealand were increasing their production, with Australia in particular on course to produce half as much milk again by the end of the decade. Most of this extra output would be directed at world markets.

"If the EU is to narrow this gap, it must pursue more market orientated policies to enable its dairy industry to fulfill its potential and compete effectively on the world stage".