What needs to change in UK dairy? The short answer is a fair bit! However, the good news is that there is a strong desire to change amongst many farmers and there are many examples of progressive dairying to learn from.
The final report of the Food Ethics Council’s Dairy Project highlights key asks that will help dairy farmers get off the Dairy Treadmill and shift towards dairy that is fairer for people, animals and the planet.
Rather than put all the blame and onus on dairy farmers themselves, the starting premise for this project was that we need to empower farmers. From talking to farmers and others in the dairy value chain over a 2.5 year period, it has reinforced the notion that most farmers do want to change, but are held back by market pressures, dairy being treated as an undervalued commodity, unrealistic asks and a lack of the right kind of support – from the rest of the value chain and from policymakers.
This report captures insights from farmers, processors, retailers and foodservice companies about what needs to change. We include recommendations for each stakeholder group, as well as our top five asks for a fairer, more ethical sector. We urge all those in the sector to get behind these asks and to make them a reality. Everyone in the sector has a role to play.