A cross section of industry representatives, including a Government minister, officials and farmers themselves will be sharing their opinions and ideas at Dairy Circle, the new informal talking shop at the Dairy Event to be held at Stoneleigh Park, Coventry on Wednesday 21 and Thursday 22 September. Dairy Circle will be staged in a purpose built theatre and provide each speaker with a 15 minute window followed by the opportunity for audience discussion.
Lord Bach, Minister for Sustainable Farming and Food will make the keynote address on Wednesday. He will be followed by the NFU's Gwyn Jones exploring the issue of how to find the 'right' milk contract while James Letts from the Environment Agency will discuss dealing with farm waste.
Managing and marketing cull cows post OTMS are guaranteed to be hot topics at the event. On Wednesday MLC's Paris based Remi Fourier will inform farmers of the French marketplace and the likely opportunities they will be able to exploit, while the discussion will be continued the following day by MLC economist, Duncan Sinclair. SAC's Dr Basil Lowman will add to the beef debate by explaining how dairy farmers can achieve additional income by considering more carefully their beef options.
More forthright messages will be delivered on Thursday by MCD's Ken Boyns arguing 'should you stay, or should you go, while Staffordshire based producer and RABDF council member, Tim Dobson will explain why farmers are worth more than £2.90 per hour.
Diversification options and tax considerations will be discussed by the CLA's Douglas Chalmers and Brian Castle respectively. They will be followed by dairy farmers who are already operating successful added value dairy enterprises; cheesemakers Margaret Davies from Anglesey and Gloucestershire based Melissa Ravenhill, along with Steven and Claire Bland who make ice cream and run a visitor centre in Cumbria.
RABDF's chief executive, Nick Everington comments: “We have introduced Dairy Circle to provide an informal environment in which all farmers can find out more about a range of topical issues, and take home new ideas and solutions to apply to their dairy unit. Dairy Circle is designed to ultimately help them to build a more robust and sustainable business.”