Upholding Dairy's Place in Diet Core to New AHDB Strategy

UK - The vision of AHDB’s new organisation-wide corporate strategy is 'creating a world-class food and farming industry.' It has also redefined AHDB’s purpose as 'inspiring farmers, growers and the industry to succeed in a rapidly changing world.'
calendar icon 7 December 2016
clock icon 2 minute read


The 2017-2020 AHDB Dairy Strategy is out for a six week industry consultation. At farm level, it focuses on providing the tools and skills to help dairy farmers increase productivity in areas such as young-stock production, herd replacements, endemic disease and getting the best from genetics.

The strategy also places emphasis on developing and supporting long term decisions on farm to mitigate the worst effects of volatility, and developing business skills in areas such as risk management and getting the best from milk contracts.

Building on the trust and reputation to increase value and demand for British milk and dairy products is also a significant priority. Working with Dairy UK and its processor members, market development work over the next three years will focus on promoting the essential role of dairy as part of a healthy diet and lifestyle, and a range of export activities.

To underpin this, AHDB will continue to provide proactive issues management – particularly on topics such as antimicrobial resistance. AHDB will also undertake a programme of research and development of high welfare dairy cow housing and work with industry on an update of the Dairy Roadmap

In order to deliver best value for the levy payer, the strategy proposes to fund its additional work by driving greater budgetary efficiencies.

This will be achieved in part through AHDB Dairy working more closely with third parties such as consultants, milk buyers, commercial companies and veterinary practices on knowledge exchange. There will also be greater cross sector working within AHDB.

AHDB Dairy is also seeking to reduce levy investment in research and collaborate with UK Agri-Tech’s Centre for Innovation Excellence in Livestock (CIEL) and the Agri-Epi Centre.

Gwyn Jones, AHDB Dairy Sector Board Chair said: "The removal of milk quotas has exposed dairy farmers to greater market volatility. While we have relatively low costs of production compared with many other European countries, we need to do more and learn from the best dairy farmers across the world."

"Costs of production have come down of late but still vary dramatically from farm to farm. We will have a new international benchmarking tool with proposed new international collaborations for data sharing which will shed light on areas we need to improve."

Mr Jones added that AHDB Dairy will build on its genetics work in areas such as lameness, mastitis and new breeding traits for feed conversion efficiency: "Genetic improvement underpins the productivity and efficiency of the national herd through improving selection accuracy and speed up genetic gain."

The strategy can be found on line by clicking here. The closing date for the consultation is 9 January 2017.

Milk levy rates for 2017/18 are to remain unchanged.

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