Dairy UK asks for government support for dairy products

By Jim Cornall

- Last updated on GMT

Dairy UK recently published its new export strategy document. Photo: iStock - CGRouse
Dairy UK recently published its new export strategy document. Photo: iStock - CGRouse

Related tags Uk dairy industry Milk Dairy uk

Dairy UK is urging the UK Government to 'lend its full weight' to extend intervention to create outlets for dairy products this spring and summer.

This, the group says, would mitigate a growing oversupply of EU dairy produce.

Dairy UK chairman Dr David Dobbin has written to Farming Minister George Eustice to raise concerns about the increasing amount of skimmed milk powder being submitted into intervention.

In his letter, Dobbin said, “Despite depressed returns, the growth in global milk production, especially from Europe including the UK, is still rising and running well ahead of global demand. As a result, stocks of powder, butter and cheese are high and skimmed milk is being intervened across Europe, including the UK.”

Big surplus coming

Dobbin said if the current milk supply production profile is maintained the UK dairy industry is facing a large surplus of milk compared to demand this spring peak.

His letter outlines a range of options on how Government could help ensure a smooth transition on intervention.

It said, “We are asking you to use the lobbying weight of the UK Government with the Commissioner to achieve a smooth transition regarding intervention at this difficult time. This would help avoid further distress at farmer and processor level and would be a positive way in which DEFRA (Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs) can help the UK industry.”

In a call to the entire UK dairy industry, Dobbin said, that the entire UK dairy industry has to “up our game” and find domestic and export opportunities to increase demand for British dairy products.

Export strategy important

Dobbin pointed to the Dairy UK export strategy document that was published recently, and also called on the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) to lend its support to the industry and work together to promote dairy products.

“We’re delighted that they have taken some positive steps towards us and we are looking at how we can work together moving forward. It is time for the dairy industry to invest in developing demand for dairy products through promotion at home and abroad,”​ Dobbin noted.

The export strategy includes 17 actions and recommendations.

When it was launched, Osborne said, “We welcome Dairy UK’s ambition to enhance the UK dairy industry’s export performance and we look forward to working closely with them to achieve this.”

Dr Judith Bryans, chief executive of Dairy UK, speaking of the report, added, “Other dairy exporting countries have followed successful paths and set interesting examples in terms of industry-government cooperation to foster growth and develop exports.”

UK increases dairy exports

At 14bn liters of milk output per annum, the UK is the third-largest milk producer in the EU after Germany and France. In 2014, the total output of dairy processing was worth $10.65bn (£7.4bn).

According to trade statistics from Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC), the UK dairy industry has increased its dairy exports outside the EU by 91% by volume over the last five years through to the end of 2014.

During the same period, the industry has increased its volume of exports within the EU by 28%. In 2014, the value of dairy exports totalled $1.89bn (£1.3bn).

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Dairy UK

Posted by Richard Stephens,

If you don't mind me saying so but all these negative comments concerning dairy products just show how ignorant you are! Milk, be it human or animal has supported life since time began and why - because it is one of the most natural and nutritious food products for infants and adults there is and history and science have proved this abnorism!

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Hopefully the government will say no!

Posted by gocarr,

Dairy is a failing industry because consumers are finally realising that it is cruel and unhealthy.

Smart farmers are changing with the times and moving to plant-based alternatives.

The lazy and unimaginative farmers want to get special treatment.

Taxpayers didn't subsidise video stores workers when DVDs arrived or carriage drivers when cars became popular - why should we pay for farmers to torture cows and kill calves when they can grow oats for yummy, healthy milk?

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Posted by Adrienne,

Why should the dairy industry be bailed out by the taxpayer when it wasn't an option for the steel industry. Consumers are wiser now to the poor health and terrible side effects of milk consumption. Look up the PH effect it has on your body and how that in turn leeches calcium from you instead. I'm glad the industry is suffering - it's a cruel industrialised industry that uses animas to their detriment and to add insult to injury it's no good for us either! Buy almond milk. It's amazing.

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