The next government needs to combat bovine tuberculosis as a priority if the future of the dairy industry is to be secured.
Dairy UK said farmer confidence and milk output needed to be improved by urgently tackling TB in cattle.
Setting out a blueprint of what the industry needs if it is to prosper, Dairy UK said government also needed to increase research and development to increase productivity and secure food supplies.
The Dairy Manifesto, which was delivered to MPs in Westminster on Tuesday (16 February), also called for a competition policy which allowed UK dairies to compete globally.
Publishing the document ahead of National Dairy Week (22-28 February), Dairy UK director general Jim Begg said the manifesto would give the next government the information it needed to make the right decisions for the dairy industry.
“As an industry employing 80,000 people and turning over £8bn per year, dairy is a vital part of the food and wider economy,” he said.
“It is clearly in the government’s interest to ensure that the dairy sector is able to thrive.”
Mr Begg said the manifesto was produced following detailed consultation with dairy farmers, milk buyers, processors and milkmen.
“If the new government followed these proposals, it would give the UK dairy sector much needed confidence to invest in the future and protect our food security,” he added.
• Increase research and development in agriculture to raise productivity and protect UK food security
• Stress the importance of dairy in a balanced diet to keep the nation healthy
• Ensure competition policy allows UK dairy companies are able to compete at a global scale
• Keep supporting the Milk Roadmap to give farmers and processors confidence to invest in green measures
• Urgently tackle bovine TB to boost milk output and farmer confidence