An interesting set of contrasting dairy industry conferences took place recently – American Dairy Products Institute (ADPI) in Chicago and the Dairy Industry Newsletter (DIN) conference in London. The former proved to be a strong gathering of US and international contacts as usual, while the latter turned out to be mainly UK-focused, as expected. Few attend such meetings for the presentation content – if they are good, it’s a bonus!
Both conferences saw a vision of the industry’s future mapped out:
In Chicago, Andrei Mikhalevsky, now leading CDI, laid out how the US dairy industry must change if it is to succeed internationally. His commentary is not new but is absolutely on the money in terms of what’s required – still! It echoed many of our past projects for US processors and also some of the recent comments by Mike Matthews at Calpoly in San Francisco in March.
In London, we also saw strong calls for a vision of the industry’s future from First Milk's Chief Executive Kate Allum and Dr David Dobbin, Group Chief Executive of United Dairy Farmers. How rare these views are in the UK dairy industry – and how important they are given the problems which its key players face: the dairy industry’s lack of such development strategies is surely a key reason why Irish (and Dutch) farmers are so much more optimistic than their UK counterparts.