Use social media to save the dairy industry

Dairy farmers have been urged to embrace social media to approach processors and tell the public about the dire situation of the UK dairy industry.

In an open letter to producers, former dairy farmer’s son Thomas Cowley said social media such as Facebook and Twitter were farmers’ biggest weapons in drawing attention to the fact dairy incomes have been slashed.

Writing on the Farmers Weekly forums, Mr Cowley, who now works in IT on the Isle of Wight, said while his family were forced out of dairying in the 90s thanks to processor price cuts, producers now had the opportunity to push for a fair milk price through the internet.

Talking about the price cuts and addressing dairy companies on Facebook and Twitter would get the subject noticed not just by the public, but also by MPs, retailers and milk buyers.

“If you get out there and broadcast, from the pit in the parlour, from the tractor cab, from the field, from the scraper tractor and keep talking and posting pictures, people will understand the life you live,” he said.

“If people understand how much of you, you invest in delivering them their food, they will listen and they will start asking questions.

“The dairy companies will get a lot of exposure of what they are doing to the people who are the guardians of our countryside.

“If you get out there and broadcast, from the pit in the parlour, from the tractor cab, from the field, from the scraper tractor and keep talking and posting pictures, people will understand the life you live.”
Thomas Cowley

“Your story needs to be heard. You must tell it publicly. Do this and you can start to control public opinion and that is where you start to ensure you are paid a fair price for the high quality product you work so hard to produce.

“You must engage, immediately, all of you, or what’s left of the dairy industry is going to die out and that’s not an acceptable outcome for Great Britain, or even the dairy companies.”

More on this topic

Read Mr Cowley’s full post on the FWi forums.

Want to learn more about Twitter? Read our guide to social media.