A distinct new brand to help consumers identify Scottish dairy products has been unveiled by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon today.
The First Minister was joined by Rural Affairs Secretary Richard Lochhead at the Royal Highland Show to give visitors a first taste of the Scottish Dairy Brand.
The new brand is a key part of Scottish Government plans to help boost the dairy industry after falling milk prices caused difficulties for farmers in recent months.
It has been developed by the Scottish Dairy Growth Board headed up by Paul Grant, the chairman of the highly successful Scottish jam company Mackays, whose brand is internationally renowned.
The logo will be added to products such as cheese and butter and, as well as signposting shoppers to Scottish produce, will help retailers and overseas buyers boost the profile of Scottish dairy produce.
The First Minister said:
“As one of the greatest agricultural showcases in the world, it is fitting that this new Scottish dairy trademark has been unveiled at the Royal Highland Show.
“Scottish food and drink exports are booming – valued at more than £5.1 billion last year. Scotch beef, salmon and shellfish are recognised the world over for their excellence and Scottish provenance. People recognise the Scottish brand, they associate the country with quality food and drink and clearly other Scottish sectors, such as dairy, can benefit from that too.
“I want to put the spotlight firmly on our fantastic produce for retailers in Scotland and buyers from around the globe. This new brand will help consumers support Scottish producers and help in marketing our excellent produce abroad.
“The dairy sector has had a difficult time and I want to assure farmers that we are doing everything we can to help them through the recent reductions in milk prices, and I hope our newly established Scottish Dairy Brand will play a part in that.”
Mr Lochhead added:
“The dairy sector is vitally important to Scotland and the Scottish Dairy Brand is all about added value – it highlights there is so much more to the sector than just milk alone.
“The dairy sector’s future is of real importance to Scotland – that is why I am calling for country of origin labelling to be made mandatory at EU level, with the flexibility to use labels such as ‘Made in Scotland’.
“The Scottish Government is committed to the sector and doing all it can to support our dairy farmers – including providing additional funding support to dairy farmers on Bute and agreeing to provide funding of £400,000 to Campbeltown Creamery.”
Scotland’s food and drink sector has the strongest growth in Scotland’s economy – between 2008 and 2012, manufacturing turnover growth was 20.8 per cent, with the UK as a whole growing by just 8.6 per cent in the same period.
The Cabinet Secretary believes there is clear evidence of an appetite amongst consumers in many potential markets and associating Scotland’s strong range of dairy products with that success story can be mutually beneficial.
He said: “It is clear from other sectors just how powerful a Scottish brand can be. Evidence suggests that the ‘Scotch Beef’ brand adds around £20m annually at the farmgate, and almost £40m in retail across the UK, which is a premium of around 12 per cent – I am therefore hopeful and optimistic that we can see a similar premium for our dairy industry. “
Paul Grant said:
“I am becoming more and more excited about the potential opportunities as this project unfolds.
“We have now identified great brands, products with potential, and also secured two leading UK Dairy consolidators to take products to market. This should have a significant impact on the success of the Scottish Dairy Brand.”
Notes to Editors
Scotland’s dairy sector has 900 dairy farms, with 2,000 processing employees, which generate more than £400 million of output – which is 15 per cent of Scotland’s total farming productivity.
Currently 11 processors, around 150 farmers, have signed up to the Scottish Dairy Brand, with 18 brands supplying 39 different products across three ranges: heritage, artisan and organic. All products are made with 100 per cent Scottish milk.
Last year, in response to Ambition 2025, the Scottish Government established the Dairy Growth Board and Dairy Hub to drive forward moves towards a thriving dairy industry. The themes set out in the 25-point action plan are in large measure to those set out in Ambition 2025.