Align agriculture with world trends

2017-01-12 06:01

WE need an exit strategy for dairy farmers. Over the past 20 years, dairy farmers have come under increasing pressure in South Africa. This is in line with global trends. Dairy consumption fell by £210 million (R3,54 billion) in 2016 in England­. In fact, all animal agriculture saw shrinking profits and market share. The biggest areas of agricultural growth were in plant-based alternatives, up by £145 million.

Consumers no longer buy the old marketing strategies. The dangers of dairy are becoming widely known. Figures showing countries with the highest dairy consumption having the highest rates of osteoporosis have shaken old myths about strong teeth and bones.

We cannot allow our dairy farmers to be left behind in a dying industry. The Midlands boasts some of the highest potential agricultural land in the world.

We need to find ways to redirect agriculture to align with global trends.

The idea that people not buying dairy is a threat to farmers and their labour is false. People are still buying food. This food doesn’t come from accountants and plumbers, but from farmers, who have recognised the shift in consumer choice, and adjusted accordingly.

James Speirs

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