The Farmers’ Union of Wales’ dairy committee chairman today welcomed the launch of Tesco’s national dairy centre in the Wirral and called on the supermarket to consider assisting a similar centre already set up in Wales.
"The Tesco Dairy Centre of Excellence at Liverpool University’s Wood Park farm is a welcome development as it will bring together experts from across the dairy sector to look at issues from animal welfare to consumer trends," said Eifion Huws.
"But I would also urge Tesco to think about making a financial investment in Wales’ Dairy Development Centre at the Gelli Aur Farm and Technology Centre near Llandeilo which has been going since January 2002.
"It aims to facilitate the development of the Welsh dairy industry through a proactive technology transfer service; market information; demonstrating best practice methods of production; and research and development."The centre has a network of demonstration and development farms to help get best practice methods and new technologies to farmers throughout Wales," Mr Huws, an Anglesey dairy farmer, added.
"Its two development farms aim to demonstrate research work on a commercial scale, illustrate sustainable husbandry, compare various dairy systems and publish physical and financial results.
"The demonstration farms are commercial working farms demonstrating better practice methods of varying dairy production systems whilst maintaining a viable farming business. The centre is financed by the Assembly’s Farming Connect scheme and DairyCo."
Tesco say their project builds on many unique initiatives such as Local Choice milk and the Tesco Sustainable Dairy Group which illustrate its commitment to the dairy industry.
The new centre will bring Tesco, farmers and dairy experts together to work on issues facing the industry and help to build a more sustainable dairy industry in the UK.
Some of the key areas it will look at are:
- Ways in which to help farmers to deliver commercial benefits on farm
- Exploring consumer trends and product innovation
- Animal welfare
- Environmental best practices
- Milk quality