Dairy board visit Waveney Valley cheese venture

Waveney Valley dairy producer Jonny Crickmore will be briefing regional members of the National Farmers' Union about his latest cheese venture next week.

The board members will visit his family's Fen Farm at Bungay on Tuesday to find out about the challenges of starting a new enterprise to add value to his milk production.

It comes as the NFU launched a 'Compete to Grow' strategy at the latest Livestock event at Birmingham, which has identified opportunities to grow the market for dairy products by an additional four to five billion litres.

It wants equitable contracts to reward farmers for investment and high quality output , which must be the foundation for a growing, profitable dairy industry.

NFU dairy board chairman Mansel Raymond said: 'The future presents a number of opportunities to British dairy farmers who are prepared to look to the future and invest. Population growth and consumption trends suggest the global and domestic dairy market will grow.

'Growth at farm gate can only happen in conjunction with increased processing capacity. While much has been said about investment in liquid milk processing, growth will also require more state-of-the-art processing capacity for other dairy products.

'With this vision and strategy I want to unite the industry in increasing our domestic production and processing. Farmers and processors need confidence in each other's will and ability to invest and produce what the market wants and seize these opportunities.

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'We believe that to trade globally, you need to compete globally; that's the basis for 'Compete to Grow' our vision and strategy for a growing British dairy industry.'

NFU dairy members have been invited to hear how Mr Crickmore started selling fresh milk at the roadside and then launched a British brie-type cheese made with unpasteurised milk earlier this spring.

A short meeting will be held at Buck Inn, Flixton, at 11am, followed by a sandwich lunch. The Newmarket-based regional dairy adviser, Diane Armitage said: 'Fen Farm is one of just a handful across the country selling milk direct to the public so this should be a really interesting visit for dairy farmers.

'Both the visit and the meeting are open to any NFU member with dairy interests and we're hoping for a good turnout on the day.'

Members wanting to attend can contact Diane on 01638 672100.