NFU President speaks at Semex International Dairy Conference

25 January 2023

Minette Batters speaking at the Semex International Dairy Conference

The 2023 Semex Conference themed ‘Think outside the bottle’ saw stakeholders from across the international dairy scene come together in Glasgow to discuss and debate the latest issues in the sector.

NFU President Minette Batters delivered the conference's first presentation in a session entitled ‘Politics, Policy and Partnerships’, before joining a discussion panel alongside Peter Giortz-Carlsen, EVP for Arla Foods and Nicholas Saphir, Chairperson of AHDB.

All three panellists mentioned the importance of strong communication and collaboration across the dairy industry to help ensure the sector is in a strong position to access new and existing opportunities.

In her speech, Minette highlighted the NFU’s work towards creating fairer, functioning supply chains and stressed the need for industry to work better together to access export opportunities – as outlined in the NFU’s Dairy Export Strategy.

Permanent labour solutions needed 

She also called for environmental regulation to work alongside profitable, productive dairy farm businesses. She went on to discuss the impact of labour shortages across the dairy sector and the need for permanent labour solutions.

The presentation also covered the dairy markets and the impact of inflation on consumer demand.

Concerns over supply in 2022 helped strengthen farmgate prices in the dairy sector and alleviate some of the impacts of spiralling input costs, although margins remained tight. However, as demand drops off and commodity prices track downward, we are starting to see price drop announcements which are expected to continue as we head towards the flush.

Input cost and inflationary pressure

Minette warned about the pressures producers still face when it comes to input costs and pointed to the 196% rise in fertiliser prices and the 82% rise in red diesel prices since 2019, and also the 50% rise in farm energy costs since 2021.

With no end in sight on inflationary pressures, dairy producers will need farm gate prices to keep pace to prevent production issues materialising later in the year.  


Ask us a question about this page

Once you have submitted your query someone from NFU CallFirst will contact you. If needed, your query will then be passed to the appropriate NFU policy team.

You have 0 characters remaining.

By completing the form with your details on this page, you are agreeing to have this information sent to the NFU for the purposes of contacting you regarding your enquiry. Please take time to read the NFU’s Privacy Policy if you require further information.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.