Industry bodies unite to help DFoB members

Industry bodies have united to provide support for Dairy Farmers of Britain members who are struggling to find buyers for their milk.

The English Farming and Food Partnership (EFFP), in coalition with Dairy UK and the NFU have offered a number of support measures.

These include a scheme which has been set up to help put farmers in contact with smaller buyers who may wish to take on suppliers.

Farmers who believe that they have a viable future in dairying with help, should contact the EFFP. The partnership will then provide help where there is a possibility for farmers to work together and jointly look at ways for marketing their milk.

The EFFP can also put individual farmers in contact with Business Link, should technical or financial advice be needed, including, in some cases, specialist agricultural consultants.

The NFU’s chief dairy adviser, Hayley Campbell-Gibbons, told Farmers Weekly that since DFOB’s collapse, there had been a concerted attempt to find alternative buyers for affected farmers.

“Some 200 of the initial 1800 DFoB farmers have still not found a new home for their milk,” she said.

“This figure is an encouraging indicator that the vast majority of farmers have successfully found a buyer. “But we must make sure that every possible avenue has been explored to find buyers for the remaining farmers, for whom the only alternative option will be to exit the dairy industry.”

According to Ms Campbell-Gibbons, many of the 200 appeared to be either from remote locations or producing too small a volume of milk to attract a buyer.

Jim Begg, director general of Dairy UK, added: “There has been an overwhelmingly encouraging response from the dairy companies to this difficult situation.

“Our members have moved fast to help farmers find a home for their milk and worked hard to resolve any issues as quickly as possible.”

The EFFP, following their success with a number of individual farmers in the north east and Yorkshire, are confident that there are options for those farmers who still believe they have a future in dairying.

Highlighting the united stance of the industry, Hayley Campbell-Gibbons added that “it is crucial that we all work together to minimise any possible long-term detrimental impact.

“Any interested buyers should make contact with Dairy UK or the NFU as soon as possible to enable us to act quickly in assisting the remaining producers.”