Dairy farmers affirm their pride in online campaign

Ninety-five per cent of British milk is produced to Red Tractor standards.
Ninety-five per cent of British milk is produced to Red Tractor standards.
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Dairy Farmers across the country have taken to social media to explain why they are proud of their industry.

In a campaign orchestrated by the National Farmers’ Union (NFU), farmers are posting videos and photographs on Twitter using the #proudofdairy hashtag.

Those taking part are using their messages to say why they love their dairy herds and to testify to the quality and high welfare standards of British milk production.

The NFU, which represents more than 55,000 farmers across England and Wales, asked dairy farmers and those associated with the industry to produce 30-second video clips to show “excellent” cow and calf welfare, good environmental practice, how a farm interacts with the community and the “beautiful” British countryside.

Explaining the motivation for the campaign, the NFU told members: “Frustratingly, inaccurate and misleading negative media is becoming increasingly common with ill-informed, anti-dairy rhetoric harmfully targeting both the industry as a whole and individual farmers.

“Promoting positive messages and stories about the sector is therefore vital to ensure the 98 per cent of consumers in the UK who drink milk fully understand the industry producing their food and the conscientious work of our dairy farmers.”

North Yorkshire dairy farmer, Paul Tompkins.

North Yorkshire dairy farmer, Paul Tompkins.

In one video, York dairy farmer, Paul Tompkins, a member of the NFU’s national dairy board, said: “I’m proud of dairy and the strong connections dairy farmers have with those that enjoy our great British, delicious and nutritious food and drink.

“I believe that those who enjoy our dairy products appreciate that right here, right now that dairy farmers up and down the country are working hard to produce great British products to the very highest standards.”

In another video, Elvington-based David Shaw, a dairy farmer of 39 years, said: “I’m proud to be a dairy farmer, working with these lovely animals all the time. They are absolutely so good to work with.”

Speaking to The Yorkshire Post, Mr Tompkins said: “I’m pleased that farmers have seen it (the hashtag) and joined in, and have seen it as a way of showcasing what we do.

“It seems to be sometimes the impression is built that what we do is hidden but we are only over a hedge and we don’t have anything to hide, and that’s what I think has been shown by this hashtag.”

According to the NFU, 95 per cent of UK dairy farmers are Red Tractor assured, meaning they have high standards of animal welfare, milk quality, environmental care and traceability.

The union’s campaign coincided yesterday with World Plant Milk Day which was held to raise awareness of plant-based milk.