Sir: I read Phil Hogan’s comments on the increased market opportunities for British dairy farmers following the recent abolition of EU dairy quotas with great interest (’EU dairy quotas come to an end’, thegrocer.co.uk, March 31). He is correct in saying that global demand for milk products - particularly European products - is rising at an optimistic rate. However, numerous challenges need to be overcome to ensure British suppliers are staying ahead of their European counterparts and taking advantage of this increasingly outward-facing marketplace.
The best chance of success for British dairy will come from ensuring our exports meet consumer needs in rapidly growing destination markets. This will require the industry to widen its focus from pasteurised, short shelf-life dairy products to the long-life UHT processed specialism required to export efficiently overseas under ambient conditions. We are already seeing signs of this, with a number of UK and Irish long-life milk processors providing a high-quality product that leverages the reputation and trust of UK and Irish produce.
The reputation of the British dairy industry is exceptionally strong overseas. We need to ensure we retain our international competitiveness as well as our strong brand.
Andrew Smith, market manager North West Europe - dairy, Tetra Pak