The dairy industry has called for Tesco to share research findings from its new National Dairy Centre with the community at large.

The centre, officially opened last week, is based at the University of Liverpool and will be funded through an exclusive agreement with Tesco. It will provide fresh insight on several aspects of the dairy industry, from milk quality and animal welfare to consumer trends.

One of the first projects to be undertaken at the centre will look into reducing digital dermititis in cattle herds.

The skin disease is a major cause of cattle lameness in the UK and costly to the industry.

The Centre will also fit collars with microphones to study whether they are utilising what cows eat to best effect, improving the quality of their milk.

“This will give us an invaluable insight into issues that really matter to our producers and customers,” said Tesco dairy agricultural manager Emma Rutter. The NFU, which has welcomed the initiative, says the centre is another example of Tesco showing its long-term commitment to its Tesco Sustainable Dairy Group farmers.

However, the body called for Tesco to disseminate the knowledge gained through the centre. “What I do want to see is the outcome of this research to be of benefit to the whole industry,” said NFU chief dairy adviser Hayley Campbell-Gibbons.

Reaseheath College, which was disappointed not to be have been chosen by Tesco as the site for the centre, agreed that appropriate knowledge sharing would benefit the industry. “Some work needs to be done with our leading bodies, such as Improve, Dairy UK and DairyCo, to see how we can share some of the information Tesco uncovers,” said Chris Edwards, dairy training and development manager at Reaseheath College.

The Farmers’ Union of Wales is urging Tesco to make a similar financial investment in the Dairy Development Centre in Wales.