Dairy dilemma

Published 31 March 15

Amanda Ball

Long-term growth opportunities for the dairy sector remain strong, but the pressures brought by the present economic climate continue to make times tough for many. So what is DairyCo doing to raise awareness of the current issues to the public?

It’s quite right that dairy farmers want to know what DairyCo is doing to update the public and the media about the current situation, says DairyCo’s head of marketing and communications Amanda Ball.

“Our job in marketing and communications is to make every effort to ensure dairy farming is presented in a fair light and to let consumers know what they can do to support our industry.

“So in this special edition of your quarterly newsletter we focus mainly on our public-facing activity. We also showcase how DairyCo works collaboratively across the industry – with unions and industry bodies – with your best interests first and foremost in our minds.”

Amanda continues: “An essential part of our approach is to work with the print and broadcast media, alongside our own websites and social media, to tell your story. DairyCo provides helpful, informative and colourful insight into farmers’ passion and commitment to caring for the animals which produce healthy and nutritious products.”

She adds that using the right facts and figures is important. “As Napoleon Bonaparte said: ‘War is ninety per cent information’. So as well as the information unearthed by our market intelligence colleagues being used to help farmers make informed business decisions, it is also essential in supporting our media work.”

DairyCo recently distilled this information into a fact-packed flyer for farmers and others to hand out to the public. The flyer features info graphics, used to help build understanding of the current factors affecting milk price, presented in a digestible format.

“It’s good to give the public a reason to value our dairy products. Informing and educating them about the responsible farming standards that are behind our assurance schemes, are a core part of our messaging. The flyer is a resource to create awareness and can be handed out by you and used at events such as Open farm Sunday.

“We’re currently investing £300,000 per year in our public-facing communication and education activities. #DiscoverDairy campaign is delivered in a quirky and entertaining way through the information website www.thisisdairyfarming.com and an e newsletter, ‘Moosflash’, which are   promoted through our YouTube and Twitter (@thisisdairy) channels.

In addition, there is our all-important work with schools, through the Food – a fact of life programme.

“The results from our regular surveys pleasingly show the public is generally very supportive of the dairy farming industry. All of this work that DairyCo is doing, alongside the invaluable work done by others, some of which is featured in this publication, is helping us maintain and further improve that reputation.” 

“All of this work helps reinforcing a positive reputation of dairy farming, which is another of DairyCo’s prime objectives. The results from our regular surveys pleasingly show the public is generally very supportive of the dairy farming industry.”

Find out more about DairyCo’s activity in all these areas in this issue and make sure you come along to one of our regional meetings to hear about how you can get involved.