British milk farmers more positive

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DairyCo, the UK organisation that replaced the Milk Development Council, found a marked positive change in the mood of British dairy farmers. In response to recent rises in milk prices, 37% of farmers are intending to increase milk production this year, compared to 20% in 2007, and the number of farmers intending to leave the sector in the next two years has fallen from 17% to 7%.

Any increases in milk production, however, will not be enough to stem the decline in overall milk production because the number of farmers leaving the industry outweighs the planned expansions.

British milk production is forecast to fall a further 0,6% in the next two years. Price, as expected, is still key to ensuring farmers carry out their initial intentions for expansion. – Alan Harman

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The Irish go organic the Irish government aims to have 5% of its land in organic production by 2012. Currently the figure stands at 0,9%. To reach this target set by Food and Horticulture minister Trevor Sargent, some 215 000ha will have to be brought into organic production.

“The target is challenging, but I believe it’s achievable,” Sargent said, on launching the Organic Farming Action Plan 2008 to 2012.The Plan’s objectives are to increase production in line with market trends, increase the knowledge base, develop the organic market at home and abroad and encourage public procurement opportunities for organic products. – Alan Harman