Say Yes, dairy men urged by unions

27 August 1999

Say Yes, dairy men urged by unions

BRITAINS farming unions have joined forces to urge dairy farmers to vote Yes in next months poll on introducing a compulsory levy to fund a national milk advertising campaign.

A leaflet from the NFU, Scottish NFU, Farmers Union of Wales and the Womens Food and Farming Union which highlights the potential benefits of re-introducing generic advertising has been sent to all dairy farmers.

The leaflet says that an effective national campaign "will help increase consumption of milk, will bring farmers closer to the consumer, will help safeguard the industry, and can improve the milk price".

Figures from the National Dairy Council show that, since national television advertising ended almost five years ago, there has been a steady decline in milk consumption.

NFU president Ben Gill said: "We need to wake up the public again to the very real and positive benefits to be had from drinking fresh milk.

"It would now seem particularly timely for farmers to invest in a campaign which will promote these benefits and help turn around the worrying decline in milk consumption and the prices being paid to farmers."

The poll will be co-ordinated by MAFF, with voting papers sent to all registered milk producers during the first week of September asking if they support the introduction of a 0.03p/litre levy. These must be returned to the ministry by Oct 15.

The NFU adds that, if producers vote in favour, the money they contribute will be matched by the industrys liquid milk processors. That should provide an annual advertising budget of about £7m.

Promotional levy would be collected by the Milk Development Council and passed to the National Dairy Council.

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