Dairy prospects look good

THE NFUS dairy committee chairman Kenny Campbell believes the prospects for the dairy industry in the United Kingdom are looking good.

Mr Campbell, a dairy farmer from Slagnaw, near Castle Douglas, was speaking after attending the World Dairy Summit which was held in Parma, Italy.

He was a member of the four-strong delegation which also included NFUS dairy policy manager, George Jamieson.

The visit was part-funded by the Scottish Government to allow them to attend the conference which was jointly organised by the International Dairy Federation and the UN’s Food and Agricultural Organisation.

More than 1000 delegates travelled from every continent to listen to speeches and take part in discussions on topics including growth and sustainability, novel technology, animal health and welfare and sustainable animal feed security.

Mr Campbell said he was there as a dairy farmer rather than just a member of the NFU delegation and his main aim was to find out where the profitability for dairy farming lay.

He said that the outlook at the present moment was positive for the dairy industry and this would be helped by a reduction in the amount of land being available.

He added: “I would think that the next ten years are going to be better than the last ten years and I would say that they would need to be.”

Mr Campbell said he had attended a similar conference in Melbourne in 2004 and to give an example of the potential, the consumption per head in China then was 13kg and this had now gone up to 28 kg.

“I would say that things are looking favourable with markets to the east expanding. I don’t think there is any fear of going back as long as we can hold our own with the Americans and be competitive in the world market,” said Mr Campbell.

He stressed the need to look to the global market and said the prospects were looking good. Mr Jamieson said: “Top of the agenda was the sustainability of dairy production and the challenge of meeting growing global demand for dairy products, particularly given increasing volatility in commodity markets. The discussions really brought home the extent to which we operate in a globalised market and how important it is to understand how other countries and other markets are operating. Ireland and the US, for example, have clear dairy strategies and the US Farm Bill is also currently under discussion. In the meantime, economies and consumer markets in countries such as China are undergoing a revolution.”