Dairy UK and the RABDF welcomed a new report launched by the Dairy All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) which outlines recommendations to ensure a sustainable and competitive future for the British dairy industry.
Following a thorough enquiry, the Dairy APPG report entitled ‘The Sustainable Competitiveness of the British Dairy Industry’, recognises that volatility is one of the greatest challenges facing the British dairy industry today and outlines a number of steps the Government can take to support the future of the industry.
Recommendations include an immediate review of intervention prices by the European Commission, the development of futures markets and the development of export opportunities as well mandatory Country of Origin Labelling. The report also stresses the importance of addressing misconceptions around dairy and promoting the economic and nutritional benefits of dairy.  
Billy Keane, Chairman of Dairy UK, said: “Dairy UK welcomes this report which recognises some of the crucial steps that the Government need to take to support one of the UK’s most essential industries. The industry has been going through some difficult times since last summer but we are confident that things will improve over the course of the year. Collaborative work throughout the dairy supply chain will be key to ensuring a sustainable and competitive future for British dairy.  
“It is important to recognise that the industry has taken some significant strides, for instance in terms of animal health and welfare, environmental initiatives and supply chain integrity. It is also crucial that we address misconceptions about dairy, especially from a nutritional point of view and really focus on educating people about how nutrient-rich milk and dairy products are. 
“A sustainable industry is one that balances a number of concerns, such as profitability, productivity and environmental issues, and therefore we hope that the findings in this report will help Parliament and Government to support the future of the British dairy industry.”
Ian Macalpine, Chairman of the RABDF, said: “We have been very encouraged by the positive responses delivered by a range of experts at our evidence sessions whilst compiling this report. While they unanimously agreed we should be aware that the current down turn in milk prices trends maybe repeated, their long term prognosis was very positive - from increasing demand for farm skills training to the growing role dairy products play as part of a healthy and balanced diet. The dairy sector is by all accounts moving in a promising direction.
“The industry has changed beyond recognition in the last two decades to one which is now in a very favourable position to face the challenges of the global market place. However as the report infers, we need the whole dairy supply chain to work together, from Government giving its support and accepting its responsibilities, to retailers offering a realistic price for milk because all evidence shows that consumers value milk and dairy produce and are subsequently prepared to pay more, which in turn will result in the necessary profitability dairy producers need for a sustainable farming business.”
The Dairy APPG, which gathers evidence from a range of experts in the field, was revived in 2014 with the intention of encouraging informed debate on the British dairy industry in Parliament, in addition to supporting the development of a sustainable and profitable dairy industry in the UK.