Speaking at the Dairy Industry Federation lunch in London this week, DIF president John Houliston warned producers and processors alike that the UK trade uses too much milk to make cheap commodities. "It is critical to the future health of our industry that we shift UK milk usage away from low margin commodity products and into more value added products," he said. Two thirds of UK milk output goes into undifferentiated products which are notoriously vulnerable to currency movements. Some 20% goes into bulk butter and preserved milk products; 20% into mild Cheddar and generic cheese. Retail liquid milk ­ most of it bound for supermarkets ­ accounts for 28% of total UK production. As Houliston concedes, milk producers and processors alike are "price takers, not givers, in one of our most important sectors". Houliston concluded that only one litre in five is going into value added, branded products: adding in 10% for doorstep milk does no more than to take value added dairy lines to 30% of UK output. {{PROVISIONS }}

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