Dairy sector plan

Rising global populations and changing diets mean the long-term prospects for British dairy remain bright.

However, there are a number of challenges ahead for the British dairy sector.

Over the next five years, we will invest in two main areas, seeking out opportunities to work with others in Britain and overseas:

  • Improving Farm Performance
  • Protecting and Promoting the Reputation of Dairy with consumers

We are committed to building on our partnership working with organisations such as DairyUK, the Welsh Government and Volac to make the best use of funding, skills and resources for levy payers.

*Dairy in Great Britain 

The challenges are:

  • How do we track and address rapidly changing consumer perceptions of dairy and what they buy?
  • How do we reduce the environmental impact of the dairy sector?
  • How can we strengthen supply chain relationships to take advantage of new global trading?
  • How can all dairy farmers have the opportunity to benefit from sharing best practice?

Improving farm performance

  • To enable farmers to experience face-to-face sharing of best practice across all dairy systems, we will maintain our successful Strategic Farm network at a rolling programme of 25 farms across Britain. We will also increase the reach of these farm programmes by delivering them online to give farmers more choice in how and when they can access information
  • We will roll out practical tools and services in genetics and genomics, grassland productivity, and animal health and welfare to ensure our research is tailored as far as possible to individual farm situations
  • Our benchmarking programme will be expanded to include environmental performance, to help farmers better manage the changes ahead in farm support. This will also help improve consumer confidence in the dairy sector
  • We will work with others across the industry to accelerate the pace of progress on endemic diseases such as lameness and mastitis. We will also continue to support Livestock Information to ensure a quicker, more convenient and practical way for farmers and the supply chain to record animal movement data

Protecting and promoting the reputation of dairy with consumers

We will work with processors, retailers and the wider supply chain to develop the following:

  • Evidence-based marketing campaigns focused on encouraging target groups of consumers to change their views on dairy products and consume more of them
  • Consumer communications that clearly show how the dairy sector is focused on improving its reputation in areas such as the environment, bull calves and handling of stock. This will be based on evidence gained from our farm performance work
  • An exports programme that continues to explore new overseas markets for British dairy to grow the value and volume of product

Explore some of our current dairy work

Download a copy of the full strategy proposal

Change Programme and Strategy 2021-2026 (PDF)