UK dairy industry needs us to be specific: University of Warwick

“We need to be honest about which parts of the industry are not thriving and help them to adapt”, argues Janet Godsell, Professor of Operations and Supply Chain Strategy from WMG at the University of Warwick, about the UK milk industry.

Given the current issues regarding the industry, Professor Godsell argues that: “Rather than being negative about the whole industry, we need to specific. Identify whee initiatives are working and learn from them. Where retailers are acting responsibly this should be highlighted so that consumers can make a real choice. “

“The UK dairy industry is currently polarised. There are parts of the industry that have adapted and are surviving, and this has been by taking a more holistic supply chain perspective; collaboratively though dairy development groups or through vertical integration by developing value added products and services.”

“Rather than being negative about the whole industry, we need to specific. Identify where initiatives are working and learn from them. Where retailers are acting responsibly this should be highlighted so that consumers can make a real choice. Such retailers could consider expanding such schemes to a broader range of dairy products too. Farmers who have seized the initiative to develop value-adding products also require on-going support to continue to grow their businesses. The opening of the new Gloucester services has seen a major increase in demand for a range of different local suppliers, including those from across the dairy sector. It has become the single most important customer for a number of those suppliers. Services like this could be rolled out across the country, if the Government were willing to back such an initiative.”

“We need to be honest about which parts of the industry are not thriving and help them to adapt. This is likely to require further adaptation of the supply chain, whether collaboratively or through vertically integration. The UK public also has its part to play. Ask questions. Find out more about where your dairy products come from. Vote with your feet and choose to support those within the industry, big or small who are trying to secure a sustainable future for dairy.”

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