AHDB Strategy Director for Dairy Paul Flanagan explains why the industry is launching a new £1m dairy campaigns and urges the whole industry to get behind it
Over the years, the dairy industry has not been short of challenges, whether that be navigating low milk prices or balancing demand and supply or defending the role we play on caring for the environment.
But more recently, like every aspect of agriculture, dairy farmers and processors face a new challenge – the fall out of coronavirus. Overnight cafes, tea rooms, restaurants and pubs, which normally consume oceans of milk and other dairy products, have closed resulting in thousands of litres of fresh milk being poured away and some farmers facing a financial crisis.
But this pandemic affects us all, whether that be businesses, families or those living alone, who struggle through days without any human interaction. It’s fair to say that the coronavirus has presented us with many hurdles, but in difficult circumstances often great things and people emerge.
Captain Tom Moore is rightly celebrated as a hero for his 100 laps of his Bedfordshire garden to celebrate the heroes of the NHS. Then there are all those who have donated £33m to the ‘Capt Tom cause’ – every one of them coming together for the common good.
And it’s this coming together in times of adversity that led to the announcement last week of a new £1m dairy marketing campaign – a partnership between the dairy industry, processors, farmers and government to help drive consumption of milk and other dairy products in these difficult times, as well as helping to bring people together.
The aim is to highlight the role that dairy plays in supporting moments of personal connection during times of crisis, whether that be a virtual cup of tea with family or a latte with friends or a pizza party with the kids
Our AHDB marketing team and creative agency are working around the clock to finalise the various strands of the campaign before we launch this week. And once it goes live, activity will appear on social media, video on demand, billboards close to supermarkets and, for the first time in over a decade, on television.
I am delighted that we have been able to secure the funding and support from all UK governments and Dairy UK, who will join us on this incredible 12-week journey.
Since we started the ball rolling a few weeks ago, everyone we’ve spoken to has been incredibly supportive and believes it is a fantastic example of what can be achieved when we work together. This campaign builds on the work AHDB has undertaken over the last three years to deliver a strong focus on the reputation of dairy, which is such an integral part of all our lives.
We are rightly proud of our farmers, who work tirelessly to bring milk and dairy products to our tables, day after day, regardless of weather, or even coronavirus.
We hope that everyone, retailers, processors, individuals and farmers, can come together to help support this campaign and celebrate the important role dairy plays in all our lives.