New strategy for the Scottish Dairy sector

March 2nd, 2021

The Scottish Dairy website, where you can read the strategy

Just launched online, ‘Scotland’s Dairy Sector – Rising to the Top 2030’, sets out a new vision for the sector and five key priority areas for sustainable growth. 

The work, led and championed by the Scottish Dairy Growth Board, has built on the lessons and the success of the previous activity ‘Ambition 2025’, which commenced in 2014.

Minister for Rural Affairs and the Natural Environment Ben Macpherson said:

“We can be rightly proud of Scotland’s dairy industry which has some of the best milk fields in the world thanks to our ideal climate, good farming practices, investment in on-farm technology adoption and innovation. The launch of the refreshed dairy strategy marks an exciting new chapter of Scotland’s food and drink success story and will help us build on the already proven demand for added-value Scottish products, particularly in cheese.

“We are looking to the future across farming and food production and last year we set up the Dairy Climate Group, chaired by Jackie McCreery. This group is focussing on how the dairy industry can become more sustainable, to reduce emissions and tackle climate change. We know there are particular challenges here for dairy farmers and the wider industry, but with a collective will to adapt and change, dairy farming can play its part in helping to reach our ambitious targets.”

The vision for the refreshed strategy highlights that Scotland has the perfect natural environment for global dairy production, producing milk to meet the needs of the market. Driving sustainable productivity and efficiency on farms will be critical as will ensuring minimal environmental impact and seeking a better return for farmers and those in the supply chain.

The key priority recommendations focus on driving international and UK market growth underpinned with strong assured and authentic credentials of sustainable and conscientious production; encouraging new investment; realigning farming support and advice to sector needs; managing the sector’s response to climate change; and developing market-responsive supply chains. These are all characteristics that not only deliver a competitive quality milk product but respond to demand by consumers for provenance and transparency in the supply chain.

Commenting on the new strategy, Paul Grant Chairman of the Scottish Dairy Growth Board said:

“In 2014, the Scottish dairy sector became the first sector in the Scottish food and drink industry to launch its own plan setting out its ambition for growth. Since then the world has changed and if there is one common dominator in our future it will be that constant state of flux, which will be driven by climate change, technology, data, insights, world demographics, global trading and how consumers shop. Our new strategy will help steer the sector towards those opportunities and create real sustainable growth for the future”.

He added:

“We know that bespoke, dedicated sector championing works and is critical to future success. We believe that through our co-ordinated efforts the dairy sector could be worth £1.4 billion to the Scottish food and drink industry by 2030 (up from £800 million in 2018). Most of this growth will be achieved through export activities and developing new product streams not currently offered by Scotland for growing global markets. Continued and upweighted focus is also needed in the home market where we know that demand is increasing for local produce”.

The new strategy is available at