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Call for More Market Transparency and Intelligence

04 July 2014

UK - The Royal Association of British Dairy Farmers has called for the dairy processing sector to introduce a new transparent framework informing producers of its intentions and subsequent milk supply volumes required and when.

Those details will offer the elementary building blocks to the sector’s future development cited in Leading the Way, the British dairy industry’s sustainable growth strategy launched earlier this week.

Furthermore, the Association has called for milestones to be introduced to the plan, in order to reassure farmers and demonstrate to the industry at large that it is on track.

“RABDF is one of the 43 organisations and companies who have endorsed Leading the Way. We share its common vision and aspirations,” RABDF chairman, Ian Macalpine told a media briefing at Livestock Event in Birmingham.

“We are genuinely excited about the future for dairying – the opportunity to contribute towards the 2.5% annual growth in global demand for dairy products over the next 10 years.

“However, with just 272 days to go before the end of quotas, we want to bring Leading the Way to life. No more talk, we want some action. Our immediate contribution to the strategy is to encourage a processor led focused campaign,” he said.

“For British dairy farmers to be able to embrace Leading the Way, then I believe they will have to change from being production led, to adopting a market led mind set. They will need to become market savvy.

"In the first instance that requires transparency from the processing sector. Every dairy farmer needs to be aware of their processor’s positioning in the market place, and its response intentions to Leading the Way. Equally if not more important, every farmer requires more accurate forecasting.

“We are subsequently urging all processors to provide their farmer suppliers with that vital direction by offering details of their respective processing capacity, their marketing intentions and their requirements – both volume and timing of delivery.

“We need the openness that Arla has already demonstrated this year. It has informed us which markets it is targeting, how much and what type of milk is required for specific markets and when. It has provided producers with that vital information without compromising their competitiveness nor upsetting the competition authorities.

“Farmers also need analysis from the trade to understand how any new or additional investment will impact on the growing market, or is it indeed just improving the processors competitiveness in the current market. Basically farmers need to have the confidence that there are real markets out there to supply before they consider expanding production.”

He added: “Finally, for Leading the Way to come to life, we need milestones to be introduced at the earliest to reassure farmers and demonstrate to the industry at large that the strategy is not just a paper or on-line document but bang on track to achieving its goals.”

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