The dairy sector should take ‘the vegan threat to the sector’ seriously, according to an industry expert.
The warning comes as dairy farmers find themselves under increasing scrutiny due to the success of initiatives like Veganuary, as well as the publication of a map detailing the addresses of UK dairy farms by activist group Project Calf.
The comment was made by farming business consultant Chris Flint at this week’s Dairy-Tech event at Stoneleigh Park, Warwickshire, as reported by Farmers Weekly.
Flint said dairy farmers should try to ‘highlight the benefits of milk’.
“There is a great story within dairy that we don’t talk about enough – we have a lot to be proud of,” he added.
“We need to get our house in order because the industry doesn’t want people who disrespect animals and who don’t do the job properly.”
His concern comes hot on the heels of a ConRes survey which shows that more than 25 percent of young adults have either ditched dairy or reduced their consumption over the last two years.
The data shows that older people are less likely to make the switch to plant milk – with 12 percent of 25-34-year-olds reducing their intake, and 10 percent of 45-54-year-olds.
The BBC interviewed Bekki Ramsay, 23, from Newcastle, as part of a short segment on why younger people are ditching dairy. She cited health and environmental concerns.
“I feel like my generation is a lot more open to trying,” she said. “I know that buying alternative milk is better for the world, but it’s more a health choice for me. It’s kind of impossible to escape from what’s going on in this world and how what we do every day has an impact on the environment.”