The brand – first unveiled in February – will be added to products such as cheese and butter. The Scottish government said it was a key part of its plans to help boost the dairy industry, after falling milk prices sapped farmers’ income in recent months.
In addition to helping consumers identify Scottish dairy products, the brand was also intended to help retailers and overseas buyers boost the profile of Scottish dairy produce.
First minister Nicola Sturgeon said yesterday (June 18): “Scottish food and drink exports are booming – valued at more than £5.1bn last year. Scotch beef, salmon and shellfish are recognised the world over for their excellence and Scottish provenance.
Scottish food and drink exports are booming
“People recognise the Scottish brand, they associate the country with quality food and drink and clearly other Scottish sectors, such as dairy, can benefit from that too.”
Speaking at the Royal Highland Show Sturgeon said her government wanted to put the spotlight firmly on “our fantastic produce” for retailers in Scotland and buyers from around the globe. The new brand will help consumers support Scottish producers and help in marketing the nation’s produce abroad, she added.
“The dairy sector has had a difficult time and I want to assure farmers that we are doing everything we can to help them through the recent reductions in milk prices, and I hope our newly established Scottish dairy brand will play a part in that.”
‘Dairy sector’s future is of real importance’
Rural Affairs Secretary Richard Lochhead said: “The dairy sector’s future is of real importance to Scotland – that is why I am calling for country of origin labelling to be made mandatory at EU level, with the flexibility to use labels such as ‘Made in Scotland’.”
The Scottish government was committed to the sector and doing all it could to support dairy farmers – including providing additional funding support to dairy farmers on Bute and agreeing to provide funding of £400,000 to Campbeltown Creamery, he said.
Meanwhile, the Scottish food and drink sector had shown the strongest growth in Scotland’s economy – between 2008 and 2012, with a growth in manufacturing turnover of 20.8% compared with just 8.6% in the UK as a whole over the same period.
“It is clear from other sectors just how powerful a Scottish brand can be,” said Lochhead. “Evidence suggests that the Scotch Beef brand adds around £20M annually at the farmgate, and almost £40M in retail across the UK, which is a premium of around 12%. I am therefore hopeful and optimistic that we can see a similar premium for our dairy industry.”
Scottish dairy sector – at a glance
- 900 dairy farms
- 2,000 processing employees
- Generates more than £400M of output
- Accounts for 15% of Scotland’s total farming productivity.