UK Dairy Industry Launches 'Leading the Way'

An exciting future for the UK dairy industry will be unveiled in Westminster today.

Dairy industry leaders and politicians will gather to launch ‘Leading the Way’, the UK dairy industry’s sustainable growth plan, at an event hosted by Devon MP and farming champion Neil Parish.

The ‘Leading the Way’ plan states that an estimated 2.5 per cent annual growth in global demand for dairy products over the next ten years will boost UK dairy production through increased exports and imports substitution. The plan sets out a vision for profitable growth of the UK dairy industry based on economic, social and environmental sustainability and focusses on the capacity of and need for, the UK dairy sector to be competitive in a global context, through scale, innovation and efficiency.

Farming minister, George Eustice MP, said: “I congratulate the dairy industry for putting together this strategy which will make an important contribution to the development of a long term plan for the sector. There is huge potential for our dairy producers with growing international demand and a global reputation that is second to none. The government wants to support growth in the industry and ensure that we can both displace more imports and expand our exports.”

Billy Keane, Chairman of Dairy UK said: “The industry growth plan is founded on economic, social and environmental sustainability. By uniting together around these sound principles, the whole dairy supply chain can have the confidence to invest in the future. The list of 43 organisations and companies who have endorsed this plan and share this common vision and sense of purpose, sends a powerful message about the UK dairy industry’s ambitions for sustainable growth.”

Rob Harrison, dairy farmer and NFU dairy board chairman, said: “By pulling together the NFU’s vision Compete to Grow, the Dairy UK White Paper and the Dairy 2020 sustainability initiative, this project unites and consolidates the efforts of an industry that clearly has its eye’s collectively on the prize – to grow our output and be the best dairy industry in the world.”

The 'Leading the Way' report is available for download here

Categories: 2014


Great Opportunities Signal Bright Future for UK Dairy

The UK dairy industry should take advantage of growing demand and grasp every opportunity for growth, Billy Keane, Chairman of Dairy UK said today.

Giving his address at the Dairy UK Annual Dinner in London, Mr Keane spoke to leading politicians and industry representatives about the way forward for the dairy industry in the global market.

He noted that the strong upward trend in dairy consumption worldwide presented UK dairy companies and farmers with an unprecedented range of opportunities.

He said: “2014 has been a momentous year for the dairy industry. We have seen massive investment from leading dairy companies and there is a real air of confidence within the industry.

“The unrelenting growth in demand presents us with tremendous opportunities and we should seize the moment. We are working hard with others in the industry to develop a long term growth plan with significant growth domestically and in exports.

“Our industry produces nutritious foods which are the heart of family life across the country and we are in a very enviable position. We need to build on that success, with the support of government and parliamentarians, to play our part in meeting growing consumer demand.”

Addressing the guests, Owen Paterson, Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs said:

“The UK dairy industry has a huge part to play in our long-term economic plan to bring growth, jobs and security. With a growing global demand for dairy, now is the time for British producers to grab this opportunity by promoting our high quality produce at home and throughout the world.”

Dr Judith Bryans, Chief Executive of Dairy UK added: “The dairy industry receives outstanding support from politicians of all parties through the Dairy Makes a Difference campaign. Like any other sector, we have challenges to face but we have more that unites us as an industry than divides us. The clarity of the messages that are being given is something we need to build on.

“The dairy industry has many great opportunities ahead and public support from consumers and politicians alike will be help us seize them.”

During the evening, Mr Paterson also presented the Dairy UK Award for outstanding contribution to the industry to Mansel Raymond, dairy farmer and Chairman of the Copa-Cogeca dairy committee.

Mr Raymond has been a passionate advocate for the UK dairy industry for many years. He farms 3,400 acres in Pembrokeshire in partnership with his brother Meurig and their families. They have two dairy herds totalling 620 cows plus young stock and a herd of beef cattle. He was awarded an MBE in 2005 for services to Welsh agriculture.

He said: "I am absolutely delighted to receive this award. We have a great industry that we are immensely proud of and we need to make the most of it in the future.”

Categories: 2014


Experts Say Era of Optimism Will Challenge Dairy Industry

International experts said today that the era of optimism in the global dairy market is set to continue for years to come and will test the ability of industries and companies to adapt to the unprecedented pace of change.

The challenges and opportunities for the UK industry were highlighted at a Dairy UK seminar - ‘The Global Game and How to Play it’ - in London. Speakers included Benoît Rouyer, director of economic and regional affairs at CNIEL (The French Dairy Inter-branch Organisation), Kevin Bellamy, senior analyst in Rabobank's Food & Agribusiness Research and Advisory (FAR) department, and James Withers, Chief Executive of Scotland Food & Drink.  

Dr Judith Bryans, chief executive of Dairy UK, said: “In view of global supply and demand it is necessary for the UK industry to be fully aware of the fast changing international picture and the myriad of opportunities it presents. UK dairy companies are innovative, progressive and very well equipped to take advantage of these opportunities.”

Kevin Bellamy said: “In the first quarter of 2014 high farm gate prices and lowering feed costs have bought a surplus of milk onto international markets and prices have fallen. Inter-connectivity of markets is leading to more complex price discovery, broader impact of market shocks ‎and increased market volatility.

The global dairy industry has become hugely dynamic and will change out of recognition in the coming five years. The pace of change is getting faster and the UK industry has already entered a new era‎. As a result players will need to continue to adapt to significant changes both at home and abroad.”

Benoît Rouyer said: “The European milk sector has radically changed its course over the last few years. Adaptability to price volatility is a continuous challenge, but our vision of the future is more optimistic than it was seven or eight years ago. The competitiveness gap between Europe and Oceania has narrowed considerably since 2010. Today most dairy producing regions in Europe consider export to third countries as their main driving force for growth.

European dairy companies are ready to expand on the growing world market and to satisfy the rising demand of dairy products in emerging countries. European dairy companies have been rather dynamic in terms of investments over the last few years, while dairy herds are growing again in most European countries.”

James Withers said:There is a new vision for dairy in Scotland – Ambition 2025 - which is centred on market-driven growth and moving the industry into a new era.  We have all the ingredients for success, but we need a renewed effort around key priorities.  In part, that is about increased steps to improve on-farm performance and also better collaboration throughout the supply chain.  But the game-changer for Scotland is the development of new, international markets as other sectors in our food and drink industry have already achieved.

“We have no desire to compete in low cost commodities, but rather to forge a future around added value, premium products.  That will tap in to rising demand and help secure a profitable future in a volatile world.”

Billy Keane, Chairman of Dairy UK added:  “It is a great privilege for Dairy UK to play host to such an array of well respected experts from across Europe. I would like to thank them for providing their perspectives on the future of this important sector. Indeed, the insights they have provided today on how the game should be played are invaluable and will shine a torch on the path we are embarked upon.”

Categories: 2014


Parliamentarians Back New ‘Dairy Makes a Difference’ Initiative

‘Dairy Makes a Difference’, a new initiative aimed at highlighting the benefits of dairy products and the dairy industry, was launched at the House of Commons today with support from across the political spectrum.

Parliamentarians back new ‘Dairy Makes a Difference’ initiative Parliamentarians from all major parties signed written declarations of how ‘Dairy Makes a Difference’ to them and urged other MPs, Peers and Ministers to join them. Dairy Makes a Difference is being launched by Dairy UK to underpin growing confidence within the UK industry.

The campaign will showcase the many ways in which ‘Dairy Makes a Difference’ and its contributions to the economy, the environment, public health, nutrition and much more.

MPs, politicians at regional and local level as well industry groups and members of the public are being asked to sign up to Dairy Makes a difference via an interactive web page www.dairymakesadifference.org.

Billy Keane, Chairman of Dairy UK, welcomed the support of politicians for the initiative and said:

“It is crucial for everyone involved in the dairy industry to see key decision-makers such as parliamentarians proactively support an industry that has tremendous support from the British public. We are delighted that parliamentarians are lending their support to Dairy Makes a Difference and we look forward to many more people in public life endorsing this initiative.

“The dairy sector enjoys phenomenal consumer support for the wide variety of nutritious products it provides and Dairy UK is incredibly proud of the industry it represents. We are delighted that the Government continues to show its support for the dairy industry and wants to see it grow in the future. Parliamentarians saying how dairy makes a difference to them as policy makers will provide a tremendous boost to the industry’s rising optimism.”

Dairy UK’s Chief Executive Dr Judith Bryans added:

“The industry has asked government and politicians to be clear and coherent in their support for dairy. We’re very pleased to say that we have received a strong and constructive response. In order to build an enduring and successful dairy industry fit for the future, we need to work collaboratively across the supply chain and with Government. Ensuring that we have a vibrant dairy sector which will serve the needs of consumers is of paramount importance.”

“The ‘Dairy Makes a Difference’ campaign is a unique opportunity for politicians to tell us in their own words why and how dairy matters. We will need to maintain this constructive and positive dialogue with policy-makers to foster growth and new opportunities in the sector.

“The industry’s merits and challenges deserve to be highlighted at every opportunity and Dairy UK will endeavour to do so at every possible opportunity under the ‘Dairy Makes a Difference’ banner this year and into the future.”

Neil Parish, Member of Parliament for Tiverton and Honiton, added:

“I am proud to be the host of the ‘Dairy Makes a Difference’ initiative launch. As a former dairy farmer myself I know the challenges and hardships that many producers go through but I am also optimistic about the industry’s future and the role it will play in bringing economic growth to the Country.

Parliamentarians back new ‘Dairy Makes a Difference’ initiative“However our dairy industry’s importance does not end with the economy. Dairy makes a huge difference to our environment by managing the landscape and protecting biodiversity, particularly in our uplands. Dairy products also have well known nutritional benefits that will help keep the UK fit and healthy.”

The guest speaker at the launch was Under Secretary of State for farming, food and marine environment George Eustice. The guest list included Neil Parish MP for Tiverton and Honiton, Mike Crockart MP for Edinburgh West, Martin Vickers MP for Cleethorpes, Heather Wheeler MP for South Derbyshire, Bill Wiggin MP for North Herefordshire, Glyn Davies MP for Montgomeryshire, Mark Spencer MP for Sherwood ,Jim Fitzpatrick MP for Poplar and Limehouse and Anne McIntosh for Thirsk, Molton and Filey.

Categories: 2014


Dairy Industry Improves Energy Efficiency

The UK dairy industry has shown a significant improvement in its energy efficiency performance.

Data collected by Dairy Energy Savings (DES), which runs the dairy sector Climate Change Agreement scheme (CCA), shows that between 2012 and 2013 the sector has improved its energy efficiency by 3%.

The data illustrates that total energy use across the sector has dropped by 4% alongside a 1% increase in throughput. Total energy efficiency was reported at under 274 KW/h/tonne compared with 282 KW/h in 2012. Total energy use dropped from nearly 134,000 KW/h in 2012 to 128,000 KW/h in 2013.

The data was measured across 59 separate dairy processing sites and included substantial reductions in consumption of oil, kerosene and natural gas.

DES Chairman Gerry Sweeney said:

“The CCA has been a great success and these results show yet again that the scheme continues to drive improvement in the dairy sector and that the industry continues to take its environmental responsibilities very seriously.

“The results are encouraging across the spectrum of energy usage and indicates that dairy companies are committed to sustainability in a pragmatic and purposeful way.”

Categories: 2014


Dairy UK Welcomes Study on Saturated Fats

Welcoming the Cambridge National Institute for Health Research Biomedical Research Centre and British Heart Foundation study on saturated fats, Dairy UK Chief Executive Dr Judith Bryans said:

“This meta-analysis confirms what many individual reviews and studies have shown over the last few years, namely that saturated fats present in nutrient-rich foods such as dairy products do not have a proven negative impact on health.

“Many efforts to reduce saturated fat intake, including government guidelines, fail to take into account the diversity of saturated fatty acids or their impact when combined with other nutrients such as calcium. We’ve known for years that saturated fats consumed on their own have a significantly different impact than saturated fats present in nutrient-rich foods. Focusing on non-nutrient rich foods would be a much more useful approach and I hope that the Department of Health will take note of the results and recommendations of this analysis to review their current guidelines.”

Categories: 2014


Dairy UK Calls for Greater Cross-party Support for Cheese and British Dairy

Dairy UK has called for greater cross-party support for the British dairy industry.

Speaking at the All Party Parliamentary Cheese Group Reception in London on Wednesday, Dairy UK’s Chief Executive Judith Bryans said that information about dairy products is often misleading and ill-informed and urged MPs to support the cheese and dairy industry in a consistent way.

Dr Bryans said:

"The dairy industry takes the nutritional integrity, safety and environmental impact of its products very seriously. It strives and succeeds to push boundaries in innovation and it’s a confident and vibrant sector."

The mixed signals coming from Government departments lead to confusion and create uncertainty as to how the dairy sector should be developing new markets and promoting growth.

Dairy UK believe that asking the industry to grow on the one hand and knocking the nutritional benefits of much loved products like cheese and yogurt, with their age-old traditions in the UK, on the other, it sends mixed signals to the industry about Government support.

The dairy sector is therefore urging politicians and civil servants to voice their support for dairy and help educate consumers about the unique contribution that cheese and other dairy products make to health the economy and the environment.

Dr Bryans went on to say:

“We have received overwhelming support from the British public for the Great British Food that is cheese. However more visibility and a stronger support is needed from our politicians for the dairy industry and showing how dairy makes a difference.”

Dr Bryans also revealed that Dairy UK will shortly be launching an initiative called Dairy Makes a Difference which aims to showcase different aspects of the dairy industry.

She said:

"The Dairy Makes a Difference initiative aims to show the public how dairy provides them with a wide range of nutritious foods including milk, cheese and yogurt.

"Dairy makes a difference as a major industry employing around 25,000 thousand people in the processing and manufacturing sectors with many thousands more involved with dairy farming.

"Dairy makes a difference as an environmentally responsible industry which is committed to sustainability."

Dan Rogerson MP for North Cornwall added:

"It has been a pleasure to serve as the Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Cheese since it was established back in 2005 and I am delighted that my Liberal Democrat colleague Lord Jones of Cheltenham will be taking over as Chair.

“The group acts as an interface between Parliamentarians and the dairy sector, and makes sure that the Government continues to engage with famers, producers and the dairy industry on supporting the sector, promoting the nutritional importance of cheese, and on issues of public health.”

Categories: 2014


Evidence Timetable for Voluntary Code Review

The review of the Dairy Industry Code of Best Practice on Contractual Relationships (Voluntary Code) is asking for evidence to be submitted before March 21.

Evidence from producers, dairy companies and other interested parties can be submitted in writing directly to the review chair at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or via the NFU, NFUS or DairyUK.

Alex Fergusson, MSP, chairman of the review, said: “It is clear from preliminary discussions that the main participants in the supply chain have a sound appreciation of the issues and want to find solutions through a dynamic and efficient review process.

“The strengths and weaknesses of the raw milk market are well understood and the most important thing is for parties to set out what changes they would like to see. We look forward to receiving constructive contributions through the respectivechannels.”

If supplementary evidence is required, it will be requested by the review process.

The review is expected to be completed by the Spring.

Categories: 2014


Dairy UK Defends Nutritious Benefits of Cheese

Dairy UK said today that cheese is a key element of a healthy balanced diet and lifestyle.

Following publication of research in the US by a university suggesting that meat and cheese posed significant health risks to people over 50, Dr Judith Bryans, chief executive of Dairy UK, said: "Dairy products form an important part of a healthy and nutritious diet and lifestyle and this has been evidenced over the years by many thorough scientific studies.

"It is deeply regrettable that there is so much misleading information circulated on these matters which is not underpinned by consensus research. The US study was a single study and a very small sample size, and those who were in high protein groups were consuming twice the recommended intake of protein. In the UK, the National Diet and Nutrition Survey reports that people over the age of 50 only get 2.5% of their daily energy intake from dairy protein – a combination of milk, cheese and yogurt.

"Overconsumption of any nutrient is not recommended and the interests of consumers would be better served by a more balanced approach to research. We advocate that consumers enjoy a balanced diet."

Categories: 2014


2014 A Milestone Year on Sustainability

Dairy UK said today the dairy industry will face a new raft of challenges on sustainability during 2014, which will have important ramifications for the supply chain.

Dr Judith Bryans, Chief Executive of Dairy UK, said: “There are a number of reviews and initiatives that the industry will face during the course of the year and it is important we are ready to meet these challenges.

“The European-led review of Best Available Techniques Reference Documents (BREFs) may have a significant impact on costs and it is essential that the UK industry plays an active role in this process.

“Other reviews are taking place in Europe such as the Commission’s climate change and energy package and reform of the EU ETS. In the UK the industry will also be addressing how to refine and progress the Dairy Roadmap.

“All of these issues suggest it will be a milestone year for sustainability in the dairy sector. As such, Dairy UK will be dedicating additional resources to work in this area.”

Dairy UK Policy Director Peter Dawson’s portfolio is being extended to include sustainability and Dairy UK has appointed Jo Stewart as Environment Manager.

Jo has worked previously with the Climate Action Programme and Carbon Clear.

Mr Dawson said: “Sustainability remains at the heart of decision-makers’ agendas across Europe and it is essential that the UK industry’s interests are represented vigorously.”

Categories: 2014


Dairy UK Welcomes EU Commitment to School Milk and Urges Rethink on Yogurt and Cheese

Dairy UK said today the dairy industry welcomed the EU’s new proposed school food scheme but the Commission had seriously misjudged the nutritional benefits of yogurt and cheese.

Dr Judith Bryans, chief executive of Dairy UK, said: “We warmly welcome the EU’s continuing commitment to school milk which has been part of the fabric of Britain for generations.

“We also recognise the benefits of the new streamlined School Food Scheme which will include milk, fruit and vegetables. However, we strongly believe that the Commission has seriously misjudged the very substantial nutritional benefits that would be delivered to children by the inclusion of yogurt and cheese in the scheme.

“Although the Commission suggests that this can be addressed at member state level, we believe this omission is a real opportunity missed to give children on a Europe-wide basis the complete range of nutrients that dairy products provide. Milk, cheese and yogurts are all important parts of a healthy diet and parents, teachers and health professionals across the UK recognise this.

“Dairy UK will be raising the matter with DEFRA as soon as possible and will be working with our colleagues in Europe to address these issues before the proposal goes forward for approval.”


Categories: 2014


Dairy UK Urges Industry to Show Dairy Makes a Difference

Dairy UK said today that 2014 will be a year during which it is vital the dairy industry stands up for itself and demonstrates ‘dairy makes a difference’. Speaking at the Semex Conference in Glasgow,

Dr Judith Bryans, chief executive of Dairy UK, said: “Dairy has so much to be proud of and there is a need for the contribution of dairy products and the industry itself to be recognised and valued more widely. “

The British public’s love for dairy products and their significant nutritional benefits remain as strong as ever and there growing demand for dairy around the world.

“Government and decision-makers at all levels are assailed by those pursuing an anti-dairy agenda.

“It is up to us to remind, politicians, civil servants, health professionals and the public that dairy makes a difference in a very positive way.

“It is essential that the industry has to stand up for itself and work in a constructive and collaborative manner. It’s never been more important to do that.

“Dairy makes a difference, providing the public with a wide range of nutritious foods including milk, cheese and yogurt.

“Dairy makes a difference as a major industry employing around 25,000 thousand people with many thousands more involved with dairy farming.  

“Dairy makes a difference as an environmentally responsible industry which is committed to sustainability.” Dairy UK will urge politicians, health professionals, industry partners and the public to support the industry and will run a series of events and initiatives throughout the year.

Dr Bryans said: “The promotion and defence of dairy is at the heart of our organisation’s activities and we intend to work vigorously to extol the virtues of a great British industry which makes great British products.”

Categories: 2014


Dairy UK Welcomes New Scottish Dairy Review Group Chief

Dairy UK today welcomed the appointment of Paul Grant as chairman of the Scottish Dairy Review Group.

Speaking at the Semex conference in Glasgow, Dr Judith Bryans, chief executive of Dairy UK, said:

"The Scottish Dairy Review: “Ambition 2025” published last year confirmed that the industry, while doing well, has great opportunities for further growth, particularly in potentially ‘game changing’ export markets. Paul Grant will bring a fresh perspective to the Scottish Dairy Review Group and his export experience will be extremely valuable. Dairy UK and its members look forward to working with Paul to help maintain the momentum behind Ambition 2025."

Categories: 2014

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