More organic milk needed in Britain
by Redaktion (comments: 0)
Britain needs more organic dairy producers to meet rapidly growing demand for organic milk, says a new report, offering new opportunities for the industry. Organic milk sales in the UK grew 91 % from November 2004 to November 2005, reports the magazine Dairy Reporter. They had grown 30 % per year for the decade before that, says a market report by the Organic Milk Suppliers Co-operative (OMSC). Sales have now topped 100m British Pounds (146 million Euros) per year thanks to organic milk's healthy and environmentally friendly image.
The OMSC claims marketing campaigns to publicise research showing organic milk to be naturally higher in omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins and antioxidants, have “substantially increased” sales. But, the growing popularity of organic milk in Britain has now left the country short of supplies, the report says. The situation is a complete turnaround from the last five years, which has seen the industry face a serious over-supply of organic milk.
A number of dairy farmers switched to organic production in the late 1990s in an attempt to boost income, yet a few years later some reported organic milk just being thrown down the drain because of supply gluts. UK dairy processors and producers could now take advantage of the reversal. The OMSC report says 5 % of supermarket milk sales are organic, and it estimates that consumer demand would rise by another 45 % this year.
Liquid milk makes up around two thirds of Britain's organic dairy market, although yoghurt has begun to emerge strongly in recent years – led by the Yeo Valley and Rachel's Organics brands. Yet, OMSC warns that, while more organic milk is needed to meet demand in the short term, the industry must maintain a balance to prevent another glut. It predicts the market will only absorb another 60 million litres over the next two years, equivalent to 75-100 farm conversions per year.