We’re all aware of the mounting pressure that volatile commodity prices are placing dairy farmers under here in the UK, as well as abroad. Challenging supermarkets on what they pay for milk is undoubtedly going to be a long and difficult road, but there are more and more options opening for those wanting to limit their exposure and diversify into new markets, namely, the ice cream sector.
To start with, the Ice Cream Alliance (ICA), the trade body for the UK’s ice cream industry, are very approachable and happy to offer advice to those uncertain about expanding operations, or unsure where to even start. Now, further to this free guidance, the ICA are offering training and support packages to help farmers create successful products and businesses.
Zelica Carr, CEO of the ICA, said in a recent interview with the Yorkshire Post: “There are plenty of opportunities for dairy farmers to break into the ice cream market. The industry is currently enjoying one of its best ever years and the sector is forecast to continue its growth for at least the next five years.
“We can offer farmers a superb business start-up service with advice and training from some of the industry’s most skilled and experienced operators.
“Already many dairy farmers have joined our association and are now running highly successful businesses. They have discovered that instead of getting just a few pence per litre for their milk they can turn it into ice cream and increase their yield to more than £18 per litre.”
Purchasing the necessary machinery to diversify into the ice cream industry doesn’t need to cost the earth either, with secondhand machinery offering a cheaper, less risky investment option.
Buying secondhand machinery doesn’t mean that the standard of equipment is any less than that of a new machine. Certainly at Machinery World, every machine is meticulously tested, cleaned and, should any parts need replacing, then they are done so before the machine is re-sold. Another huge advantage is the price with it not being an uncommon occurrence for machines to sell for half the price of the new equivalent.
With the primary ingredient on their door step, ice cream production could be seen as an almost natural progression for milk farmers, and it could be the progression that offers a fresh start and ultimately, the opportunity to change their fortunes for years to come.
So, with the guidance, support and machinery available at a reasonable price, the opportunity to break into a new market isn’t unrealistic and, the chances of success are significantly increased.
For more information about any of the subject matter in this blog post, please do get in touch.