From Morrison’s “Milk for Farmers” to our very own “Farmer-owned marque”, 2015 was a year which saw the launch of great initiatives aimed at getting the British public to support dairy farmers. There is no denying that times have been tough for the industry recently, and although the initiatives at home have proved a great success, there is still a lot of work to be done. Arla is confident in the early signs of rising dairy demand around the world, particularly in Asia, and have set our sights much larger than the UK market for our farmer owners.
Taking advantage of the export market is a key opportunity for many businesses in Britain, and dairy farming is no exception. Already, over 300 million litres of Arla’s British farmer owners’ milk, some 10 per cent of our UK milk production, is turned into products that are exported overseas, and we have experienced a five-fold increase in the level of our export business in the last three years. But there is more opportunity still, to export more of the 25 per cent of the UK’s milk which is produced by Arla, and meet the growing demand for dairy products abroad.
Which is why the launch of the Great British Food Unit is welcome news. Announcing the joint venture between the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) and UK Trade & Investment (UKTI), Environment Secretary Liz Truss MP spoke about the Unit’s remit to coordinate and promote exports, support further inward investment and act as a champion of British food and drink worldwide. In difficult times for the dairy industry, we wish the Unit every success, in particular in reaching its goal of £6 billion in manufactured food exports by 2020. Hopefully much of that £6 billion will come from dairy.