Big opportunities for dairy – with the right Brexit deal

The UK dairy industry is in a strong position to capitalise on future opportunities – provided the government negotiates a fair Brexit deal and supports the whole supply chain.

According to a new White Paper published by Dairy UK on Wednesday (25 October), the industry turns over £27.8bn/year and supports 70,000 jobs, with investment remaining high despite the uncertain climate.

And the future is bright. Dairy’s appeal to consumers in the UK remains strong, and world consumption of fresh dairy products is expected to increase by 2.1%/year over the next decade.

See also: Analysis: Consultant charts where now for UK dairy?

Consumption of processed products is forecast to rise by 1.7%/year over the same period, with growth in both developed and developing countries.

“Prospects are good,” says Paul Vernon, chairman of Dairy UK. “We do, however, need to seize the moment, and that will require yet more innovation and inspiration.

“If Brexit is successfully delivered, there is tremendous potential in terms of exports and product development. If it is a failure, there will be far-reaching consequences.”

The UK currently exports about 20% of its dairy production, and prices have converged with world markets since 2007, meaning trade deals will be key to future turnover.

The EU remains a major trading partner, but there are also opportunities further afield, providing fair agreements can be reached. 

“No effort can be spared by the industry, the UK government and the EU to secure a positive outcome,” says Mr Vernon.

“We will continue to give every assistance to the government to make that happen.”