Arla UK managing director has called on the industry to be proactive and united as it faces challenges.
Dairy needs to unite to tackle the major challenges it faces today, with commoditisation and the increase in critics of dairy a result of the industry not doing as good a job as it should to protect and promote itself.
Ash Amirahmadi, managing director of Arla Foods in the UK, called on the industry to create a campaign everybody could get behind.
“I do not think our mindset should be about expecting someone else to do it for us,” he said. “It is not the retailers’ job to do this for us.
“It is our responsibility.”
The industry also needed to be adaptable and appeal to consumers, giving the example of how bread has created products which are relevant to people and said the whole industry needed to innovate with products people want to pay more for.
He said he was sure farmers were ‘sick and tired’ of hearing about anti-dairy campaigns but they were ‘really clever’ and backed by financial muscle including celebrities and big companies.
“Firstly, they have normalised veganism,” he said.
“The second thing is they have cast doubt on our industry.”
He added their campaigns were backed by millions of US dollars, compared to single figure million pound campaigns by the UK industry, which was why the whole industry needed to get behind a campaign to promote and protect dairy.