Farm minister Jim Paice has called for more investment in dairy processing to boost exports of British products.
Speaking at World Milk Day on Tuesday 1 June, Mr Paice criticised the price gap between farmgate and processed milk as “too wide” and said that more investment was needed in processing to help promote “iconic British dairy products”.
With more than 700 named British cheeses and many international award-winning cheeses made here, we now want to see the industry making even more of Britain’s finest dairy products and sending them to the world, Mr Paice said.
“The UK has one of the most competitive dairy industries in the world. We need to help the dairy industry invest in processing, so that we can become a net exporter of all dairy products.
“At the moment, the UK imports a significant quantity of high-quality cheeses and other dairy products, which our home industry could just as effectively produce here,” he said.
Key Milk Industry Facts
UK imports £2.3bn of dairy products compared with £0.9bn of exports.
There are more than 700 distinct British cheeses.
Fifteen British dairy products have EU Protected Food Names
The UK dairy industry contributes £3bn
There are 1.9 million dairy cows in the UK.
The average UK herd size is 112 cows whereas the EU15 average is 42 cows and the EU27 is 9 cows.