The cooperative is looking to grow its export market further
The Organic Milk Suppliers Cooperative (OMSCo) has recruited new members as it looks to boost its milk pool by 30 per cent over the next two years.
Speaking at last week’s NFU conference, OMSCo executive chairman Nicholas Saphir said the co-operative had achieved growth by ‘developing premium, specialist organic dairy ingredients for sale worldwide’.
Wider UK organic food sales grew by 7.1 per cent in 2016 and in the organic dairy sector there was growth of 2.2 per cent on the year.
Mr Saphir said: “We have now built long-term relationships with leading market players on a global manufacturing and distribution scale and, as a result, our exports grew by 58 per cent to 20 per cent of our total revenue in last financial year,” he said.
However, he said constraints on supply meant they had prioritised UK sales which had limited potential export developments.
“Supplying the home market is a priority to ensure it does not weaken again, but we think there is enough milk coming forward in the medium-term to meet limited growth in UK demand and this will be supplied by the natural expansion of the existing organic dairy supply base in the UK,” he said.
“The additional recruitment has allowed us to supply new contracts with global partners and further balance UK market fluctuations.”
Mr Saphir said international growth would continue to be a ‘key strategy’ for the cooperative going forward.
But he acknowledged there would be ‘hurdles to overcome’ for exporters in post-Brexit Britain.
“Most critically we need to ensure policymakers understand the detailed implications of future trade options and this is something we are working hard to achieve,” he added.