Export opportunities for the UK dairy industry

Published 25 October 12

shipping container

During the 2011 Consultation on the DairyCo 2012-2013 business plan a number of stakeholders expressed the view that the GB dairy industry did not seem to be well placed to take advantage of export markets for dairy products. In response to the requests for some background work on export opportunities and using the expertise of the DairyCo board a project brief was put together for a desk research project examining the opportunities for GB dairy to export successfully.

This piece of work, written by Promar International, was a designed to be a fact finding document with particular focus on identifying export opportunities for GB dairy processors. With the results of the work available DairyCo can then develop a coherent work stream which supports the right parts of the industry in the right way to return value to dairy levy payers.

The Export opportunities for the UK dairy industry  report is part of the evidence base needed to formulate a wider strategy for GB dairy. Identifying market opportunities only returns value to dairy farmers if the markets can be accessed and served profitably. To achieve this aim the appropriate processing capacity has to be in place which will only happen when processors can be confident in the market opportunity and the supply of milk.

The main findings of the report are:

  • That the global dairy market will grow
  • Most production and consumption will remain local
  • The EU and UK are large nett importers of dairy products - but that does not preclude an export business
  • The best opportunities are within the EU and Russia for specialised cheese and fat products
  • The "big prize‟ opportunity of China would require considerable long term investment in market knowledge and relationship building
  • GB has a long way to go to be seen as a "player‟ in the export market.

As the AHDB Dairy thinking on exports has developed it has become clear that the report is part of the evidence base needed to formulate a wider export strategy for GB dairy (which in turn is part of a growth strategy for GB dairy).

View the Export opportunities for the UK dairy industry report.