Farming News - Welsh dairy sheep focus group for farmers

Welsh dairy sheep focus group for farmers

07 Oct 2020
Frontdesk / Livestock

An open focus group to evaluate and explore the opportunities and challenges for a new and sustainable Welsh dairy sheep sector in Wales is being held on Monday 19th October at 7:30pm via the ‘Zoom’ platform.

The Welsh Government have commissioned Menter a Busnes to look at the feasibility of establishing a dairy sheep industry in Wales, that is market led, resilient and focused on high value products which can offer new opportunities post Brexit.

The project’s vision is to establish a sustainable dairy sheep industry in Wales, based on collaboration and supported by a sector organisation that could work in partnership with the supply chain.

Sheep milk production has more than doubled in the last 50 years, and is continuing to grow albeit from a relatively low base. Global milk production reached 852 million tonnes in 2019 with sheep milk accounting for 11 million tonnes. However, it is very much considered an underdeveloped sector, with latest predictions expecting a 26% increase in volume by 2030.

Farmer and Mid Wales based James Holloway, who leads the project believes Wales is well positioned in terms of land use and skills for utilising the opportunities in dairy sheep.

“Developing this new sector could offer the current and next generation of farmers an opportunity to actively farm within a profitable sector,” said James. “Equally important, dairy sheep can offer sustainable farming systems which have a low environmental impact whilst still being accessible for new entrants.”

“We want to hear from and listen to farmers from all parts of Wales, whether they already have plans to start milking sheep, are considering it as an option or may just have an interest in how the sector develops.”

To participate in the focus group and gain further insight into the work of the project register your interest by emailing Geraint Hughes by 12:00 noon on 14/10/2020. A link to join the ‘Zoom’ session will be sent prior to the meeting.