Let’s hope #sosdairy campaign momentum continues

Shortly we will see an alternative pricing schedule available for our milk. First Milk’s Aspatria creamery, where our Dolphenby milk goes, now offers a second choice of supply contract that directly relates to the weight of solids collected rather than the volume of milk. Certainly a step in the right direction for producers with high constituent milk on high forage systems like ours; the benefits of milk with high constituents are considerable for cheese production so congratulations to First Milk for encouraging its production with a carrot rather than a stick.

The danger of writing a few week’s in advance of publication is you can make a complete fool of yourself, especially when commenting on the dairy industry, which is changing daily. As the Olympics has taken the media attention during the past few weeks I hope #sosdairy campaign has successfully progressed in a positive direction towards producer unity.

Significant structural change looks more likely now than ever in the past, and with strong leadership we have a fantastic opportunity for real long-term unity for our industry. The overwhelming challenge still is establishing clear, inspired leadership for our broken, fragmented industry.

Next Tuesday (21 August) we have a VIP visit to Dolphenby, when Jim Paice visits the farm. The minister will be one of several high-calibre speakers, including Kate Allum, CEO of First Milk, and Robert Newbury from the NFU, who are taking part in a dairy conference jointly organised by First Milk and the NFU. If you would like to attend, contact the NFU Northwest regional office or First Milk locally to book your free place. Catch up via twitter @robertcraignfu

Robert Craig, 41, farms a 440ha of almost all grass split between two units in north-east Cumbria. A passionate grassland farmer, Robert is a 2012 Nuffield scholar and former Cumbria NFU Chairman.

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