Following nine months of industry consultation, Scotland Food and Drink Chief Executive James Withers has made a total of nineteen recommendations to achieve sustainable economic growth for dairy in his ‘Ambition 2025’ document.
- targeting key priority export markets to maximise opportunities and trade
- developing an independent Scottish Dairy Bureau to provide information, advice and training
- formalising the structure of dairy producer groups
- a new leadership structure for the sector, with an experienced business leader chairing a Scottish Dairy Growth Board to oversee the development of ‘Ambition 2025’
- emphasising the benefits of drinking milk to improve Scotland’s health
Launching the report at Yester Farm Dairies in East Lothian (a member of Scottish Land & Estates) Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs and Environment, Richard Lochhead said:
“James has certainly taken a close and in depth look at the current state of play in the sector and lays out a number of recommendations to consider. It is now important that we look at this report and formulate a plan to help support further growth of Scotland’s dairy sector, and I plan to do this in the next few weeks.
“There is huge potential for Scotland’s dairy industry to become a global leader and we should look to explore any avenue and opportunity that is open to us. The Scottish Government is committed to taking Scottish decisions to address Scottish issues and deliver the best support we can to farmers in Scotland.
“Our dairy farmers are an integral part of a hard working industry who are skilled in producing high quality dairy products to meet a range of market demands.
“The provenance of Scotland’s food and drink is world renowned and at a time when there is a global demand for premium products, this report clearly demonstrates that we can offer consumers at home and abroad a range of dairy products which are of the highest quality.”
James Withers said:
“I was optimistic about the prospects of Scotland’s dairy sector before I started this review, but I am even more so now. I believe by 2025 we will see a transformed industry in this country. It is one which can significantly grow its output – by up to 50 per cent - as a direct result of creating new, added value markets. Import substitution is an important priority, but the real ‘game-changer’ will be the development of new export markets.
“A lot of work is required and the first step is a commitment to “Ambition 2025” from all parties. I’ve been particularly pleased by the commitment during this review of producers, dairy companies and their representative bodies to this new agenda.
“Scotland does not lack the quality of raw materials to achieve this growth; our people, our environment and raw materials are the envy of most countries. Last week, we established a new growth target for the food and drink industry; to reach £16.5 billion in turnover by 2017, including £7 billion from exports. Our dairy sector has a massive and growing part to play in this.”
Read the Report and Recommendations at: http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Resource/0043/00434082.pdf