The Royal Association of British Dairy Farmers has appealed to processors and retailers to work together in order to secure future milk supplies and avoid a severe anticipated shortfall, not only in the UK but further a field.
Furthermore, it has urged retailers to take a leaf out of Waitrose’s books following its announcement to source only home produced dairy ingredients for its own label products.
“While UK producer numbers continue to decline, albeit at a slower rate, we recorded a significant 1.46 billion litre shortfall in production last year, while we continue to import one million litres of liquid milk daily, as well as 400,000 tonnes of cheese annually,” explains RABDF chairman, Lyndon Edwards.
“However, you just have to look to two of the world’s leading dairy producing countries to determine the developing trends. In the USA, the Department of Agriculture has forecast milk production, along with exports to decline from 2010 due to a reduction in cow numbers, while in Russia where 99% of dairy farmers are reporting losses, its dairy union is forecasting a milk deficit from this coming autumn.
“In view of the pending shortfall of dairy products globally, we would urge processors, retailers and food service to work together with farmers to ensure a secure supply of milk and dairy products for British consumers or risk a shortfall accompanied by inflated prices.”
He adds: “Waitrose’s commitment to using home produced dairy ingredients for its own-brand products including yoghurts, cream and cheddar has to be commended as being a step in the right direction, and one which we trust other retailers will follow suit.”
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