The development of new and exciting products using milk will be a key factor in building a more profitable future for Britain’s dairy industry, says Terrig Morgan.

The comments of the NFU’s Milk and Dairy Produce Committee Chairman follow a fact-finding tour by the NFU to Leatherhead Food Research Association.

The organisation currently carries out research work and product development involving milk for 30 countries.

Research programmes around the world are currently investigating a number of areas including nutrition, flavour and storage times and the development of new products and branded milk, yoghurt, desserts and cheese.

Terrig Morgan said last week’s tour of the Surrey research centre formed part of the NFU’s work in line with the Contract with Society*, which is investigating the way forward for Britain’s dairy industry.

He said: “We are taking a good hard look at Britain’s dairy industry to see what can be done across a range of fronts to improve the returns to farmers.

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“The NFU and the industry realise that a large piece in the jigsaw will involve the industry working together to develop new products which command a strong following of consumers and a price premium.

“Farmers realise that in developing a point of difference for their product, farmers will be able to move away from the price pitfalls which accompany bulk commodity supply. “

Terrig said the tour had provided a real insight into a variety of routes being explored to expand the use of milk and increase returns to the sector.

“Research centres like this will play an extremely important role in this,” he said.

“It is important, however, that retailers and the dairy industry recognise that product development and investment will need to be higher up the agenda if we are to match our competitor countries and benefit from this.”