Momentum builds for dairy sector growth plan

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High level talks to press ahead with a plan for sustainable growth in the dairy industry have been held at Westminster this week.

Dairy UK reported that the ‘Leading the way’ strategy it has developed with the National Farmers’ Union (NFU) and DairyCo with support from Defra was backed by a number of other industry bodies during discussions at the start of the week.

The Royal Association of British Dairy Farmers, Agricultural Industries Confederation and Holstein UK have added their backing to the initiative.

Commenting on the growth plan, Farming Minister George Eustice said: “As the industry recognises, dairy has huge potential for growth, which is why Defra is working with UK Trade and Investment (UKTI) on a specific dairy export strategy. I look forward to working with ‘Leading the Way’ to support the UK’s dairy farmers both here and abroad.”

Peter Dawson, Dairy UK’s policy and sustainability director, added: “The growth plan is currently a framework based on important principles. Now we need to take this forward to strengthen our industry to achieve growth. The industry needs a common sense of purpose to exploit this opportunity.”

The talks came as it was announced that the deadline for evidence as part of a review of the Dairy Industry Code of Best Practice on Contractual Relationships - a voluntary code to ensure farmers get a fair deal from processors and retailers - had been extended.

Evidence from producers, dairy companies and other interested parties can be submitted in writing directly to review chairman Alex Fergusson at or via the NFU or DairyUK until Thursday 17 April.