2011 – a bumper year for dairy?

This could be a bumper year for British dairying, NFU president Peter Kendall told this week’s Semex conference, Glasgow.

Speaking in reference to the conference’s key agenda “Is the dairy industry fit for the future?” he said the industry was not there yet, but if everyone worked together, it was achievable.

“The consumer doesn’t want the dairy farmer to be paid less for milk than the cost of production – they are our greatest ally and we need to keep them onside.”

Consumer demand for British meant demand for dairy products was high, causing many to talk of a bumper year in 2011.

However, in order to capitalise on this demand, a stable supply chain was essential.

“There was not a fair share of prices fed back to the producer in 2010 – this can’t happen in 2011.”

Mr Kendall stressed the importance of establishing a dedicated supply chain to ensure farmers were receiving a fair share of the profits.

“Dedicated supply chains bring farmers closer to the market and consumer and also bring the retailer closer to the farmer. By setting up such a chain it creates a climate of responsibility, separate from volatile commodity markets – long-term stability is far better than short-term peaks and troughs,” he said.

However, dedicated supply chains were not to be viewed as a way for retailers to make those without a contract pay for those with a contract.

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