17/09/2019 om 12:49

As a young and progressive dairy farmer from the South West of Scotland I was recently awarded a Nuffield Farming Scholarship with which I aim to investigate ways that value can be added to British dairy products and how these products can be integrated into developing global markets. On our Scottish dairy unit we currently milk 600 Holstein cows and sell 6.5million litres of milk per year into the UK’s domestic liquid milk market.

Through the strategic partnership between Global Dairy Farmers and Nuffield International I am delighted to have been chosen to represent the Nuffield Farming Scholarships Trust at this years GDF congress in Beijing and Harbin, China in October.

From a global perspective the UK is incredibly well placed to produce milk with our favourable climate and continual genetic and technological advances at farm level. However, we require adequate product development, marketing and trading infrastructure in order to optimise returns from certain markets that we currently have very little exposure to. Can we see beyond any negativity surrounding the UK’s departure from the EU by identifying and building trading relationships with growing markets in other areas of the world? I believe it is imperative that our generation is engaged with and positively influences where and how our milk is processed and consumed. 

A recent report from the International Farm Comparison Network (IFCN) shows the massive potential for export led growth within the dairy sector. They predict an increase of 1.2 billion consumers globally by 2030 and an uplift in dairy consumption per capita from 116ME (milk equivalent of dairy products) to 135ME. This will require an additional 295 billion litres of milk per year giving our industry a fantastic opportunity to flourish with such an optimistic global demand outlook.

While on the GDF Congress in China I look forward to learning much more about how the Chinese dairy industry has grown in recent years and the development of the industry both at the technical level on farm and the collaboration which has taken place with the wider global dairy industry. The cultural aspects of the congress are of great excitement to me as I particularly enjoy experiencing varied cultures and cuisines.

I look forward to getting to know many of you in the GDF network while in China. It is a fantastic opportunity for like minded people in the dairy industry from all corners of the world to meet and share ideas and experiences of best practice and to build collaborative global relationships.


                                                                                              Richard Walker 10/09/19