NFU Scotland has given its backing to the creation of a Scottish dairy brand designed to add value and grow exports of quality Scottish dairy produce.
In a high profile launch at the Royal Highland Show – being held at Ingliston, near Edinburgh – the new Scottish dairy brand was launched by Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon.
In the Scottish Dairy Plan, produced in March 2015, Cabinet Secretary Richard Lochhead confirmed that additional funds had been provided to the Scottish Dairy Growth Board to develop such a brand. Details on the export brand, the products eligible for the branding and its introduction to international buyers at the Anuga Food Fair in Germany late this year were unveiled today (Thursday 18 June).
Speaking from the Highland Show, NFUS Milk Committee chairman Graeme Kilpatrick said:
“Scotland’s dairy industry has found itself extremely vulnerable to the volatility in world markets and the price pressure on many Scottish dairy farmers has never been as extreme.
“However, the efforts that go in to milking cows day in, day out are reflected in the fact that Scotland produces cheese and butter of the very highest quality and that deserves to be better recognised on a world stage.
“Today’s unveiling of the Scottish Dairy Brand demonstrates that despite the relentless pressure on milk prices at farm level, there remains tremendous enthusiasm and commitment within the Scottish dairy industry.
“This concerted effort to build exports for Scottish cheese and butter builds on the fantastic provenance of Scotland. Like whisky or beef, the products selected for the brand have a strong heritage and a powerful story to tell the rest of the world about the quality of our dairy produce and the ability of our dairy farmers.
“The number of authentic, artisan and organic products selected for the brand is testament to our fantastic range of premium dairy produce. With that platform, there is a tremendous opportunity to ensure our cheese and butter taps into the growing reputation for Scottish food and drink worldwide.
“We look forward to the Scottish Dairy Growth Board quickly building a strong reputation internationally for the Scottish Dairy Brand after its formal introduction in October at the Anuga Food Fair in Cologne.
“At the same time, the opportunity exists for retailers and the food service sector to play their part. There is clear consumer support for dairy produce, with its Scottish provenance clearly identified and labelled.
“In these dark times for dairy farmers, a positive approach to marketing high value Scottish produce at home and abroad is essential if confidence at farm level is to be restored.”