Society of Dairy Technology Newsletter
Welcome to the SDT

Another Spring Conference has come and gone, but there are still lots of events in the calendar.  In this bulletin we have links to the presentations from the Conference and news of a free event, the annual dinner and other events.  Plus, member, John Sumner, attended the AHDB Annual Outlook conference recently and a report is presented.  This can also be found in the publications section of our website, by clicking HERE

Spring Conference

A full report of this has been submitted to DII and will be re-printed in the next newsletter, but in brief, over 100 delegates attended the event which was on a very auspicious day.  The topic of the conference was Future in Focus: The Dairy Industry in a post-Quota world and the main conference session was held on the very day that quotas were abolished.

Speakers at the conference: l-r Maykel Verschueren (NIZO), David Dobbin (Dale Farm), Alex Bandini (Kantar WorldPanel), Sophie Helaine (DG Agri), Mansel Raymond (Copa Cogeca), Mark Faherty (Irish Dairy Board) and Paul Ross (UCC). 

The previous day, 30 delegates visited Ballyrashane Creamery and were really impressed not only with developments there, but with the passion of the staff for their products.  The presentations are available on the members area of the website, for which you will need to log in.  If you have not yet used the new system you will need to log in with your membership number initially and then use a generic password, Dairy2015. The log in tab is at the top left of the page! If you have already used this system then you will have changed these to personal username and password. Click HERE to go to the members page.

Free event for members and guests

A mailshot has recently gone out regarding the evening event to be held at the University of Reading on 5th May. International experts, Dr Mike Lewis of the University of Reading and Dr Hilton Deeth of the University of Queensland, Australia. Further details can be found on our events page, along with the booking form.

Dr Mike Lewis "Best use for Milk"

Dr Hilton Deeth: "Protein changes in UHT milk and milk powders during storage."

If you haven't yet registered for this, just email me and I can add you to the delegate list. 

Annual Dinner and other events

Don't forget to book your place at the annual dinner on 27th July, at Reaseheath College.  We have to submit numbers much earlier this year so don't leave it too late.

We shall have our stand at the Nantwich Show again and hope that you will call to see us. Just in case you didn't know it is the day after our dinner (see above) so why not combine the two events.

Before then, the Southern Ireland Section are holding a symposium on Impact of expansion in the Dairy Sector on water demand and wastewater treatment, Teagasc Food Research Centre, Moorepark, Fermoy, Co. Cork.  This is followed by a visit to Dairygold's Anaerobic Digestion plant at Mitcheltown. Thursday 30th April, 2015 at 08.30 am.  Full details are available on the Events page of our website. Click HERE

Our Autumn Symposium will be on November 11th this year, so save the date.  Further details to follow soon.

Better outlook for dairy?

 It with some considerable hesitation I write in relatively positive terms about the prospects for UK dairy farming. I recall doing so just over a year ago following the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board’s (AHDB) annual Outlook Conference. I quoted the Food and Farming Minister, George Eustice, who encouraged us all by telling us that the demand for UK food and drink exports was increasing with potential for further growth. In fairness, IDF was also forecasting increasing global demand for milk and dairy products.
It was all good news. Then a spot of bother broke out in Eastern Europe, the world market oil price collapsed, European country economies were at a standstill, and the global demand for food and milk products fell. Milk price on the world market went into steep decline with serious knock-on consequences for milk price here at home. Hence my caution; but here goes……
Glimmers of light
Some glimmers of light for the dairy sector were detected at this year’s AHDB’s annual Outlook Conference held recently in London. According to the Future Foundation, world food markets are expected to grow over the next five years, especially in emerging countries. Increasingly the emphasis will be on good quality food, provenance and authenticity. The presentation forecasted that ethical concerns will influence consumers more than at present, yet price will still be a key influence. Consumers will expect greater and a desire for new food innovations and tastes.
In a review of the Asian food market by the Institute of Grocery Distribution, it was emphasised that the population of Asia is forecast to become almost 60% of total world population, including over one half of the world’s middle classes, which will create increased demand on food supplies. The growth in the new middle class is driving up the demand for more and better products and as consumers become more affluent, they are expected to require more protein in their diets with milk and dairy being key providers.
The Food and Agricultural Organisation has forecast that total dairy consumption in the world will grow by 12% in the period 2014 to 2020, and by 50% by 2050. Growth in Asia was expected to grow by 21% compared to 4% in Europe, with the result that dairy demand in the coming years will be dominated by Asia.
UK dairy farmer confidence stronger
In relation to domestic milk production, AHDB undertakes an annual survey of dairy farmers to investigate the level of confidence in their own farming businesses and the industry generally, and in doing so identifies production and investment intentions. Whilst there is no hiding from the fact that that short-term confidence had taken a knock, the survey showed that one third of those surveyed planned to expand in the next two years. Those planning to invest would do so largely in infrastructure, farm buildings and equipment.
A key finding of the survey was that in the longer term, five years plus, dairy farmers were relatively confident about their business prospects and also about the industry generally, as the global long term demand for dairy products was positive. If this is encouraging news for UK dairy farmers, it may seem to some like jam tomorrow, but, I bravely, perhaps foolishly suggest, better than no jam at all.


Our purpose is to advance professional development through knowledge transfer and networking

Please send comments, feedback and suggestions for topics to Liz Whitley


Many thanks
Liz Whitley
Executive Director
Tel: 0845 528 0418
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