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Dairy marketers must milk issues strategy


Cohesive industry communications strategy can provide consumer confidence…

Dairy industry professionals must recognise the need for cohesive communications on key issues facing the industry, according to a presentation given to The Chartered Institute of Marketings (CIM) Food Drink and Agriculture (FDA) Group.

During the event held on 16 February, Amanda Ball, head of marketing and communications at DairyCo, the not-for-profit organisation working on behalf of GB dairy farmers, emphasised the importance to dairy marketers of strategic and consistent messaging to help shape consumer perceptions of the industry.

Ethical issues in food production have, and will continue to, influence the food and drink sector, affecting consumer purchasing behaviour. However, marketers in the dairy sector are now facing a new challenge in educating consumers about the diversity of farming systems including so-called super dairies. Recent DairyCo research revealed that although there is a generally positive public view of dairy farming in Britain, people are not well-informed about such current issues as super farms. Ball noted that industry messaging, based on clear knowledge-based strategy, must be communicated to positively and emotionally engage consumers on these hot industry topics.

Ball comments: Consistent, easy to understand messaging from the industry as a whole ensures that consumers are given factual, accurate information on where their food comes from and how it is produced. There is widespread debate in the industry, media and amongst NGOs about super farms, but as marketers we must make sure that this is informed debate on both sides. We have a duty to communicate to the public that animal welfare is as important to the industry as to consumers, and demonstrate that we as an industry are engaged with consumer opinion.

In doing so, marketers can better educate the wider public on the services we provide, and the fundamental part dairy farming plays in British life.

John Giles, chairman of the FDA Market Interest Group, said:

Insight into consumer opinion is a vital part of any marketing strategy; keeping up with trends, key legislation and issues through continued professional development means you can better serve your market. With super farms topping the industry and consumer issues agendas, dairy marketers must ensure now more than ever that they are strategising and planning according to their own market developments and are actively engaging and responding to consumer opinion.

About The Chartered Institute of Marketing

The Chartered Institute of Marketing is the leading international professional marketing body with members worldwide. First established in 1911 it defines the marketing standards that operate in the UK and is the global champion of best marketing practice. The Institute exists to develop the marketing profession, maintain professional standards and improve the skills of marketing practitioners, enabling them to deliver exceptional results for their organisations. It does this by providing membership, qualifications and training to marketing professionals and businesses around the world. Visit for more information.

About our Centenary

With the completion of a century in winning professional recognition and status for the marketing professional The Chartered Institute of Marketing will continue throughout its next century as the marketers lifelong career partner, and the champion of marketing excellence in all aspects of business and commerce. Events and celebrations planned during the centenary year will provide marketers with an opportunity to show off the positive power of marketing and demonstrate the beneficial contribution that marketing provides to both an organisation’s bottom line and long-term future.

About The Food, Drink and Agricultural (FDA) Group:

The Food, Drink and Agricultural (FDA) Group is one of 12 Market Interest Groups (MIGs) of The Chartered Institute of Marketing and has 800 members from across the UK and international agri food and drink value chain.

About DairyCo

DairyCos aim is to promote world class knowledge to British dairy farmers so they can profit from a sustainable future. To achieve this DairyCo aims to:

  • Ensure farmers have access to world class information needed to improve competitiveness, GHG reduction and productivity
  • Ensure farmers have access to direct and indirect support to help them improve their profitability through better business management
  • Ensure that dairy farming is reducing its impact on the environment
  • Ensure farmers understand the benefits of breeding and use the related tools

DairyCo is funded entirely by milk producers, via a statutory levy on all milk sold off-farm, at the rate of 0.06p per litre.  This provides an annual income of around 6.5m.

DairyCo is a division of the statutory levy board, the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB).

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