March 23, 2010


UK super dairy will have no problem selling milk


An 8100-cow dairy herd planned for Lincolnshire will have no problem finding a buyer for its milk, according to a leading quota agent.


Production from the Nocton Dairies farm is expected to reach 250,000 litres daily should planning officials grant the go-ahead. Milking could begin as soon as this autumn at the super dairy, located between the villages of Nocton and Dunston, a few miles south of Lincoln.


Animal welfare campaigners claim consumers would not like their milk to come from such a big farm. However, Ian Potter, of quota agents Ian Potter Associates, said the business would easily find a buyer for its milk. "There is no doubt at all that a dairy farm of this size will be of interest to all the major processors," he said.


It was a foregone conclusion that the farm would secure a liquid contract - although not necessarily with a retail-aligned buyer.


Collecting milk from a single 8100-cow site rather than from scores of smaller herds was an obvious attraction. "It's an easy pick-up," said Potter.


Potter acknowledged that smaller milk producers felt they would be unable to compete with the super dairy. But fears that Nocton Dairies would drive smaller producers out of business were no reason to call a halt to the venture, he said.


"Some people think it will put small farmers out of business, but that is competition for you and that's life,” he said.


Graeme Surtees, consultant to Nocton Dairies, confirmed that milk would go to the liquid market, rather than be processed by the company. Nocton Dairies was talking to a number of buyers, he said.


"There is lots of interest but we don't have a final agreement in place yet," he said.