Report from the Jersey Milk Conference
Put on by the UK Jerseys Breed Society, with RDPE support through Duchy College Rural Business School, the 'Creating our Golden Future' Jersey milk conference attracted attendance from twelve dairy processors, with the bakers dozen made-up by DairyUK also being in the audience.
The conference was held at the Royal Bath and West showground and addressed research and marketing activities aimed at stimulating the use of Jersey milk.
Delegates heard from researchers involved in a project that UK Jerseys have commissioned at Reading University to investigate the physical and chemical differences between Jersey and Holstein milks. Alvis Brothers, the Somerset-based farmhouse cheese maker, is a partner in the project and will trial the research at commercial scale.
Coming at the marketing challenge from an alternative perspective, Dairy Council chairman, Sandy Wilkie, and Nuffield Scholar and DairyCo director, Kevin Beaty, left a strong message of opportunity to be exploited.
Maintaining customer trust is critical in Kevin Beaty's opinion. Trust can be broken by an unforeseen, and sudden, incident, for example a health scare; or it can be undermined slowly by self-inflicted ignorance and inaction by the industry. Potential examples include farmers' failure to provide what the consumers believe they are buying, or arrogantly ignoring public sentiment around welfare expectations.
For all those present, it was the 'go Jersey' cry from Jude Capper which ignited an aspiration to exceed public desires.