Ian Potter Photo 1

The dairy industry expert and analyst died this week aged 62

Tributes have been paid to dairy sector analyst and commentator Ian Potter, who died this week aged 62 due to medical complications after a short illness.

Known throughout the dairy sector, Potter was a forthright character and often a thorn in the side of retailers and dairy processors – particularly on the issue of returns to dairy farmers.

He was described by his family as a “a giant of the dairy industry for three decades” – be it as a quota broker, a farming press columnist, a commentator and reporter through his own weekly dairy news bulletin, and as a farmer in his own right.

Aside from his core business of trading milk quotas and entitlements, Potter was happiest when battling for the rights and causes of dairy farmers, “by identifying, reporting and commentating on what he thought was deceit, duplicity, or misconduct in the sector”, said fellow dairy sector analyst Chris Walkland.

“Because of his gritty desire to expose the truth he was hugely respected right across the industry, even those who were on the sharp end of his teeth,” Walkland added.

And despite the fact the often brusque Yorkshireman was seen as a ‘Marmite’ figure by many, “everyone knew the industry was better off for his presence. Now he has gone, and the sector is worse off for it,” Walkland added.

Married with three children, Potter lived in Ashbourne, Derbyshire.

“Throughout his career he had the interests of dairy farmers at heart, and loved what he did, and the industry that he worked in,” his family said in a statement.

Potter was recognised for his outstanding service to the dairy sector in 2010 when he was presented with the Royal Association of British Dairy Farmers Princess Royal Award at Buckingham Palace.

AHDB described him as “a huge influence in the industry over the last few decades”.

A book of condolences has been opened with contributions welcomed via condolences.ianpotter@ipmsltd.co.uk.