RABDF Annual Dairy Business & Policy Conference

Scoping the Future

18th October 2017 at 10am

One Birdcage Walk, Westminster, SW1H 9JJ

The conference will be a business and political event, aimed at influencing and inspiring leading farmers as well as policy and decision makers.  The theme is "Scoping the Future of the UK dairy industry post-Brexit".  The inaugural conference will be held in conjunction with The Trehane Trust.

The high profile line up of speakers will talk about the potential effects Brexit could have on UK dairy farmers from different industry perspectives.  Farmers need to be more competitive, more switched into markets and more aware of global impacts on their businesses, regardless of the systems they use or the markets they supply.  With the future of production-based support still unclear, the day will aim to elevate the discussion beyond the obvious challenges and look instead at opportunities to reshape the industry.


Arrival from 10:00 for 10:15 start

10:15  Lord Donald Curry, RABDF President, to open the conference

10:25  Simon Ward, founder of The Policy Group, to set the scene of where we are now, what is happening behind the scenes and how this could impact on trade, subsidies, market access, labour etc.

10:45  Mike Houghton, The Trehane Trust Fellowship Award winner, to present his paper on "Identifying a Strategy for the UK Dairy Industry Post-BREXIT"

11:25  Graham Wilkinson, Senior Director Member Relations at Arla, to present the processor perspective on technology, innovation etc.

11:45  Chris Walkland, specialist agricultural journalist and market analyst working primarily in the food and farming industries, to speak on future issues, trends and action points for the industry

12:05  Prof Wynne Jones, Chairman of The Trehane Trust, to take questions for the speakers

12:40 Lunch

13:30  The Minster of State for DEFRA has been invited to address the conference on behalf of the Government

13:50  RABDF representative to discuss the effects of migrant labour on the dairy industry.  Simon Hoare MP, current Chair of the Dairy APPG, to discuss the inquiry on skills and labour in the dairy industry

14:15  Dr Kristin Reyher, Senior Lecturer of Farm Animal Science at the School of Veterinary Sciences, University of Bristol to present on antibiotic use and the implications of reduced availability.  Contributions from Di Wastenage, Chair of Dairy Antimicrobial Stewardship Group

14:40  Announcement of the Gold Cup Finalists for 2017

15:00  Lord Curry to close the conference

15:15  Conference to end

Please note that the programme/speakers may be subject to change.

Ticket prices*

Supply trade  £150

Corporate Members  - 1 free ticket, additional tickets £112 (maximum 3 per company).  Please contact us to request your free ticket

Farmers  £75

RABDF Members £50

* Booking fees apply