|Welcome to the latest Newsletter
Don't forget to book a place at our forthcoming Food Safety Symposium, where we shall be looking at some of the processes and tools used in food safety. This is on 9th November at the University of Nottingham, Sutton Bonington, Leicestershire. The last date for booking is 2nd November which is next week! Click on the following links for the forms: Programme Booking form
This newsletter covers the Eden Students' study tour, our new Editor for the IJDT, details of our latest edition of the electronic Handbook of Dairy Technology and sad news of the death of one our early members, Ted Abbot. Our final article in this newsletter is our most recent report from John Sumner who discusses "Turbulent times in the Global Milk Business".
Eden Study Tour
We welcome our new Eden student members and their first event with the Society was a study tour to the South West, where they visited Muller Foods at Severnside Creamery, Barbers Farmhouse Cheese at Ditcheat and Cotteswold Dairy at Tewkesbury. Thank you to these companies for welcoming the students, some of whom are new to the industry. I hope that more of you will meet them at the symposium in Nottingham.
New Editor for IJDT
We are pleased to welcome Dr Linda Thomas as Editor of our Journal, the International Journal of Dairy Technology. Linda took over from Dr John Tuohy, who has been both Editor of the IJDT and President of our Society for the last two years. Linda worked for Yakult UK for many years and has been a member of the Society for some years. I am sure you will all join me in welcoming Linda to the role and also in thanking John for the sterling work that he has done over the last two years.
New Editor, Dr Linda Thomas
Just a quick reminder that you can access the Journal on-line but need to know your WILEY (not SDT) log in for this. The easiest way that I have found to access the IJDT site is by going to our website (www.sdt.org) and then clicking the link that I have created on the front page, in the section that talks about the Journal (fourth paragraph down).
A new edition of the Handbook of Dairy Technology
Our thanks go to Andrew Wilbey who has collated and edited the latest edition of our Handbook of Dairy Technology which can be accessed on-line from the members section of the website. This is a really useful quick guide to dairy technology and is easily downloaded to store on your PC. We do have hard copies of this for sale as well if you prefer, at a cost of £20 for members.
Obituary: Ted Abbott 1924-2016
It is with sadness that I report on the death of Ted Abbott who was a member of the Society from 1949-1991. Ted was part of the Abbott Dairy, of Canterbury. His son, Philip, continues the links with the Society and will be well known to many of you as he gave a vibrant after dinner speech at our second Annual Dinner. Philip wrote the following about his father:
"He was not one of the founding members, as he was in the RAF at the time the SDT was founded, but joined soon after WWII as he entered the family dairy business and training to go with that. He found the SDT a good basis for meeting people in the industry who were happy and keen to share knowledge, as much before had been almost been following folk law! Both Andrew and I can recall joining out parents at SDT conferences based at University Campus in those days, and SDT Study tours too. The dairy staff were encouraged to train and several attended courses at Reaseheath, mostly then under the eyes of Ron Lawton.
"Ted’s drive to provide the best facilities for both in the dairy itself and the retail staff took him all through his working life. As he said back in 1991, we had just got it right, when the economics prevented us from continuing economically, and we had to sell the goodwill of the liquid milk business. This brought about the moment of him deciding to retire to follow his interests of wood carving, which led to an interest in art too, both of these finding a new groups of friends. It was shortly after 1991 that he let his membership of the SDT go, as that era had then passed for him.
"Ted was President of the NDBI in 1982. His fund raiser for the year was Ted's Trek, walking from Land's End to John O'Groats via various dairies, not the direct route ! He met many kind and generous people on route, and was well supported by some national suppliers. As day trips he visited The Scilly Isles and Orkney Islands at the beginning and end to complete his trek.
"Throughout his life in Canterbury he also supported the service clubs of Roundtable, 41 Club and Rotary. He was a member of St. John Ambulance, and has a service medal for over 30 years, and was awarded Knight of St. John in recognition of his work and support. He was a member of his local church, being one of the sidesman for many years, and he was also a steward at Canterbury Cathedral. After Philip moved to the depot in Nonington, adjacent to the Church there, he took an interest in that too, and joined them for many events.
"Until shortly after his 90th birthday he had lived quite independently, and kept an eye on his family and friends. Following a second stroke in 2014, he then did need assistance with living, and choose to move to Littlebourne House Residential Home, who cared for such an independent person as best as anybody could!
"Ted’s own summary of his involvement with the Dairy Industry was that he had been involved in some of the best years. He is survived by Philip & Cindy, Andrew, and his granddaughter Katharine.
"To the last his support for research went on and he wished for his body to be donated to medical research. With all the paperwork in place, the London Anatomy Office (LAO)were contacted immediately following his passing. After a short medical interview with the care home manager, they said “he sound like an interesting chap”, and the decision was made so his wishes could be completed. Hence there will be no funeral. The LAO have their own arrangements to offer families in due course, however a memorial service will be arranged for family, friends and many contacts to attend if they wish. This is not likely to be until warmer weather in 2017, details will be circulated once planned."
Our condolences go to Philip and Cindy, Andrew and granddaughter Katharine.
Turbulent times in the global milk business
Having just read the International Dairy Federation’s World Dairy Report for last year, I am unsure whether to be depressed, pacified by knowing that the UK is not the only major dairying country experiencing difficult times, or encouraged by the more positive forecasts for the future. As an optimist, I will go for the latter.
The difficult news
The report describes how farm gate market prices had hit record levels prior to 2014, then dairy markets plummeted continuously until 2015. However, in spite of low prices, total world milk production last year was up 3.3%, estimated at 802 m tonnes. At first sight this seems curious, but it reflects the time lag between planning milk production and the subsequent milk reaching the market.
The better news
It is encouraging that the long term demand for dairy products continues to increase, mainly from dairy consumption growth in emerging economies. Last year, global capita consumption was estimated at 110 kg/capita. International projections estimate a world population of 9 billion by 2050, driving the demand for food in the coming decades. The FAO (Food and Agriculture Organisation) and the OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) have forecast a 13% increase in consumption by 2023. The demand for food in the coming decades will be mainly driven by the increase in world population. It is also encouraging that trade in milk products continues to increase now representing 9% of global production.
The world global sector also witnessed some important policy changes over the period with regional trade discussion and agreements, the phasing out of the EU quota system, and the new farm bill in the US. The structure of the industry continues to change with mergers and acquisitions still intensifying and becoming increasingly global. When measured by turnover, the French company, Lactalis, is the largest in the world, with New Zealand’s Fonterrra a close second.
Some level of price recovery is expected to be just around the corner, yet, as the report highlights, there is a far greater level of uncertainty given the state of world economies and matters such as the Russian trade restriction and the level of growth in demand expected in the coming years from Asia. What is clear is that market volatility remains a reality for the global dairy industry, volatility that the UK industry, especially its producers, are having to live with.
Having read what I have just written, I wonder if my optimism is a little misguided!
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