Vegans The New Milk Snatcher…

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No longer is the Ex Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher the enemy of the dairy industry - they have their eyes firmly set on a new milk snatcher vegans.

Today the dairy industry announced a new campaign led by Dairy UK and the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board. The campaign will see the industry splash out £1.2million on a campaign to promote dairy.

This comes in the wake of a string of victories for organisations promoting the shift to plant-based milks.

Last month the organisation Go Vegan World won the right in court to state that milk in the UK isn't produced humanely.

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This was followed by the launch of World Plant Milk Day by a number of vegan organisations. This coalition came together to encourage people to ditch the dairy and celebrate the different plant-based milk options on the market.

And it seems to be working. Last year Ocado reported that sales of plant-based milks had increased 1500% between 2015 and 2016.

And it's not just vegans driving shift away from animal derived products. Mintel recently reported that 28% of people in the UK have reduced meat consumption in the past 12 months.

The rise in 'flexitarianism', which sees people eschew animal based products from their diet on a part-time basis is increasingly responsible for people turning away from dairy products.

The big UK supermarkets have certainly sat up and paid attention. Earlier this year Tesco appointed, self confessed plant-pushing chef Derek Sarno to a new role Director of Plant-Based Food Innovation who will be speaking at Vevolution this November

And recently Sainsbury's announced that The White Rabbit Co would start supplying their vegan cheesy pizza to stores in the south-east of England.

We regularly hear in the media that farmers are losing money on the milk that they sell and are only being kept afloat by EU farming subsidies which are at risk as a result of Brexit.

Increasingly young people are turning to a vegetarian and vegan diet with Mintel reporting that 1 in 5 people aged 16-24 now belong to this group.

Some dairy companies have started looking to a future away from reliance on farming subsidies and a market going against consumer trends.

After 92 years of producing milk, Elmhurst Dairy closed their doors after experiencing declining sales. They took stock and decided to move away from dairy and start producing nut plant-based milks.

Elmhurst Dairy switched to producing plant-based milk after 92 years producing cows milk.

Elmhurst Dairy switched to producing plant-based milk after 92 years producing cows milk.

Since taking this bold move their business has soared and they now are a company looking to the future with positivity.

There is an argument to be made that the £1.2million the dairy industry has just put aside to campaign about the benefits of dairy would be better used to re-train struggling dairy farmers in how to create plant-based milks.

At this year's Vevolution we will yet again have Oatly joining as one of our headline sponsors. We love their delicious products and no one will be mourning the dairy industry because the truth is for a long while it has been dying a slow death.

Times change and it's time for the dairy industry to be honest with farmers and help them join a plant-based milk revolution and have a decent shot of creating a sustainable future for their farm like Elmhurst Dairy.