Rural Affairs Secretary Richard Lochhead published a 25 point plan to help support the Scottish dairy sector on a visit to a dairy producer in Angus today (Tuesday March 24, 2015).
Mr Lochhead met with William and James Taylor, and their father William Snr, at Baldoukie Farm near Tannadice to launch the action plan which aims to improve the resilience of the sector and provide the right platform to ensure the entire industry can thrive in the context of volatile market prices.
“The dairy sector is vital to Scotland’s farming and food industry, and the wider rural economy. We have 900 dairy farms, with 2000 processing employees, which generate well over £400 million of output – that’s 15 per cent of our total farming productivity. This sector’s future is of real importance to Scotland.
“Scotland has a powerful brand – both at home and abroad – in its food and drink offering and the dairy sector is at the core of that. I look forward to putting today’s plan into action and working with all our partners on its successful delivery.
“We want to grasp the opportunity that the domestic market offers for our high-value products as well as accessing the lucrative overseas markets. I hope that the Scottish Dairy Plan will put the dairy sector on the same platform as Scotch Beef, salmon and whisky, delivering long-term sustainability and helping to shield it from the global volatility.”
The Scottish Dairy Plan takes into account the recommendations made by the Scottish Parliament’s Rural Affairs, Climate Change and Environment Committee following its own enquiry into the Scottish dairy industry.
There are five main themes set out in today’s Plan:
- Market development
- Promoting best practice in dairy farming
- Promoting a transparent and efficient supply chain
- Supporting First Milk in transforming its operation in Scotland
- Ensuring international rules are correct
Last year, in response to Ambition 2025, the Scottish Government established the Dairy Growth Board and Dairy Hub to drive forward moves towards a thriving dairy industry. The themes set out in today’s plan are in large measure to those set out in Ambition 2025
The full Scottish Dairy Plan can be found here