Society of Dairy Technology E-Bulletin
Welcome to the SDT


The Annual Dinner has come and gone, as has Nantwich and, seemingly, the summer too.  This newsletter has reports of these events and also information about our forthcoming One-day Symposium, Food Safety in the Dairy Industry.  This is to be held at Harper Adams University on November 12th.  We have an excellent programme of speakers and topics so do book a place soon.

Also on 12th November, immediately prior to the Symposium, we shall hold the Society's Annual General Meeting.  There are vacancies on Council so if you would like to be involved in shaping the future of your Society, why not contact me regarding joining?  We are currently trying to improve what we do and the way that we do it, so if you would like to be part of this, joining Council is a way to do so.  We meet four times a year, usually in London.

Also in this newsletter, we have a contribution from John Sumner who takes a look at the prospects for the UK dairy industry.

Finally, most of you have paid your subscriptions but if you have not please can you renew these as soon as possible as I shall be deleting non-payers very soon.  I hope to have news of an improved payment system soon.

Autumn Symposium 

Food Safety in the Dairy Industry is the topic for our Autumn Symposium on November 12th, to be held at Harper Adams University.  The day kicks off with our AGM, when our new President, Dr John Tuohy, will take over the reins.

The symposium starts with a presentation on Mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis and its implications for the dairy industry and we are pleased to welcome back Dr Cath Rees of the University of Nottingham who last spoke to us about their work on Listeria moncytogenes. Following this, Dr Lynn MacIntyre of Harper Adams University will present a paper on Campylobacter and its threat to Food Safety.

The afternoon sessions cover the management of food safety with the first one covering Food Factory Design to maximise Food Safety.  It is hoped that a speaker from Campden BRI will present this but has to be confirmed as yet.  Following this will be "The Supermarkets' thoughts on Food Safety in the Dairy Industry" (speaker to be confirmed) and the final presentation will be HACCP in practice: an Update and this will be presented by immediate Past-President, Dr Ken Burgess of Ken Burgess Associates.  The booking form can be found by clicking here, and the full programme here.

2015 Spring Conference

The Spring Conference next year is to be held at the Loughry Campus of CAFRE in Northern Ireland.  Any members who would like to join the organisation committee should email me on and I shall forward your details to Gary Andrews, who is leading the organisation committee.

Annual Dinner and Nantwich Reports

39 members and guests attended the Annual Dinner on 27th July at Reaseheath College.  We had a very good meal and our after-dinner speaker was Philip Abbott who gave the graduates a real insight into the challenges that they face now that they have finished their degree.  I, for one, recognised every scenario that Philip talked about so eloquently and I am sure that every other member there was able to empathise!  Philip not only talked eloquently, but perhaps set the new standard in dress for the dinner and perhaps next year, we should say dinner jackets rather than lounge suits!  He was not alone in his dress standard and we were able to compare white tie and black tie.  Enough said.

One of the main purposes of this dinner is to celebrate the graduation of the Eden students and this year, the Society made two awards.  The first of these was for the student who has contributed the most to the Society during their studentship and this was awarded jointly to Sue Twist of Arla Foods Llandyrnog and Paul Winfield of Arla Foods Stourton.  These students took part in the group meeting to address the strategy of the Society and made substantial contribution to this.

The second award was to the student presenting the top project in their final year and was awarded to Chris Holland.  Wiley and Tetra Pak very kindly gave all of these students additional prizes in the form of books; Chris received a copy of the latest in the SDT Technical Series, Dairy Products as Functional Foods and Sue and Paul received a copy of The Dairy Handbook.  We are really grateful for their support.

Sue Twist and Chris Holland with their awards

The Annual Dinner precedes Nantwich International Cheese Show and so the following day many of us were at the Show.  The Society had a stand and we had a great deal of interest in all that we have to offer.  Many existing members called by to catch up with us and it was great to see so many of you.  We attracted a lot of interest from potential members and hope to convert these to full membership over the coming weeks.

Council members Chris Askew and Richard Sheard were brilliant in helping Senior Vice-President John Touhy and me in staffing the stand over the two days and our thanks go to them for their help.

More global milk, more global consumers, bodes well for the UK

Report from member, John Sumner

For as long as I have been tracking the world production of milk output has, with the odd exception, increased year on year. In spite of market volatility and variable weather, global milk production, as reported in IDF’s “The World Dairy Situation 2013”, increased by about 2% in each of the last couple of years, and the signs are that the increase will continue.

However, it wasn’t all plain sailing. At the start of that period, the world market had been strong, but then the downturn in the global economic situation began to put pressure on dairy product prices on the world market. As prices fell, cereal and soya bean meal prices soared! To add to the problems, deteriorating weather in some parts of the world; Russia, Southern Europe and the United States suffered drought, whilst humid conditions in the summer and autumn in parts of Western Europe, affected production. Yet in spite of all that, total world milk production increased, as did the output for every kind of dairy product.

Most of the world’s milk comes from the dairy cow, currently representing some 83% of total world output. Nationally, fortunes differed, North and Central America grew strongly whilst growth slowed in South America. The EU overall presented global stability, although at the time of the review, production was down in France and the UK. Interestingly, cow milk production is growing most strongly in Asia and surprisingly in Turkey. Buffalo milk production amounts to about 13% of total world production, but almost all of it is produced in India and Pakistan. Milk from goats and sheep, not forgetting that camel milk is important in a few countries, make up the rest.

Reassuringly, as world production continues to increase, so does consumption of milk and mild products. Over the last seven years, global per capita consumption has grown by 8%. Asia is the most important consuming region with over 40 % of total world consumption compared for example, with the EU at 27%. However, this reflects an increasing geographical imbalance between production and consumption of dairy in the world.

All the forecasts are relatively positive in that continued growth in production and consumption is foreseen. Very importantly for the UK, due to the geographical imbalance in production and consumption, an increase in world trade is envisaged. Such long term positive prospects for dairy products have strongly stimulated investments in the global milk industry.

Such reports inevitably comment on what happened in the immediate past, but nevertheless provide valuable information for current and future prospects and forward planning. The global demand for dairy products is clearly getting stronger. The challenge for the collective UK dairy industry is how to get its share. The production side of the industry is well structured, highly skilled and well equipped to play its part. According to discussions I had at the recent Livestock Event (the former Dairy Event), investment in new milking equipment is currently at a level not seen in recent times. But whether or not the UK gets its share of the global dairy cake depends on the determination of the industry as a whole.
August 2014

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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