Dairy UK, the new united voice of the dairy industry will be launched today with the aim of representing the interests of all sectors of the dairy industry on a UK-wide basis.

The National Farmer’s Union has welcomed the launch and believes it will give the dairy industry a real chance to meet the challenges facing the sector by uniting together.

NFU dairy board chairman, Gwyn Jones, said: “Dairy UK represents a tremendous opportunity for the whole industry - farmers, co-operatives and processors - to tackle together the issues that confront the sector. Our industry has never faced so many challenges and it is vital that our efforts are co-ordinated for the benefit of all parties.”

Dairy UK will offer a range of professional services to its members and it will promote supply chain solutions in addition to seeking to lobby EU, national and regional authorities on a range of regulatory issues affecting the whole of the dairy supply chain.

The NFU has said it will continue to campaign for profitability for British dairy farmers but will benefit from the unified Dairy UK’s support.

“We will tackle issues ranging from increasing environmental burdens, to persistently low milk prices,” said Jones. “But many of the issues we face - the image of milk, supply chain efficiency, retail consolidation and food hygiene -require the kind of joined-up, industry wide approach that Dairy UK offers.”

Individual farmers will not become members of Dairy UK but the NFU has been invited to coordinate producer representation within Dairy UK through a UK Dairy Farmer’s Forum comprising a cross-section of groups representing famers politically and commercially.