Diversification – adding value to milk

Date published: 16 November 2020

In this changing and competitive environment many farm businesses are actively seeking to maximise their returns and are looking for new ways to add value to their milk. The last twenty years has seen a significant growth in the range of dairy products now available to the consumer, many of these coming from new enterprises set up by dairy farmers who have identified a gap in the market. The College of Agriculture, Food, and Rural Enterprise (CAFRE), Loughry Campus has worked on a number of farm diversification projects and has a wide range of programmes and services to assist in this process to support business.

Ice cream production at CAFRE, Loughry Campus, Cookstown.

These type of diversifications can provide an opportunity to achieve better returns for the milk producer and ensure a more secure future for farm businesses. Any dairy farmer contemplating this type of diversification should understand that this is not an easy option and involves significant financial and personal commitment to be successful. There are a number of key areas that you should consider before embarking on a farm diversification business, such as under used resources on farm, local demand for a product, your existing skills, expertise and interests.

Technologists at CAFRE, Loughry Campus can work with you to take your idea through the development process to commercialisation. This can involve new product development, advice on premises, equipment and legislative requirements to ensure safe products are placed on the market. The initial discussions will address project feasibility, financial considerations, manufacturing options as well as potential routes to market for your product.

If you are interested in taking your potential diversification idea to the next stage why not start by discussing it with one of the Dairy Technology Team at Loughry Campus on Freephone: 0300 200 7846, email: Loughry.FoodTechnology@daera-ni.gov.uk or visit the CAFRE website.

Notes to editors: 

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