UK - The UK dairy industry should take advantage of growing demand and grasp every opportunity for growth according to Billy Keane, Chairman of Dairy UK.
Giving his address at the Dairy UK Annual Dinner in London, Mr Keane (pictured) 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.”
TheMeatSite News Desk