UK – Struggling dairy producers are being urged to diversify into ice cream making to boost income.
The message has come from the Ice Cream Alliance and according to dairy farmer turned ice cream maker David Otterburn farmers have the potential to turn pence per litre from supplying milk into pounds per litre supplying ice cream.
David’s family had a 100 year history of dairy farming at Helmsley in North Yorkshire before he took the decision to diversify 25 years ago. Now he has built up a successful ice cream retail and manufacturing business -Ryeburn of Helmsley – and is the current UK Champion flavoured ice cream maker.
«Switching to ice cream making was best decision we ever made. Its a hugely enjoyable and interesting business and instead of getting a few pence per litre farmers have the potential to be earning Â£18 per litre for scooped ice cream. It’s a no brainer as far as I am concerned.
It’s quite easy to get started, adds Mr Otterburn. «Dairy farmers have an advantage because they already have an understanding of milk and fat contents. «Start up costs are modest and there are grants available through the Government’s Rural Development Programme.»
«Start up costs are modest and there are grants available through the Government’s Rural Development Programme.»
The ICA say demand for high quality ice cream is increasing and they are holding workshops to provide prospective ice cream makers with an insight into the industry at the annual Ice Cream Expo at the Yorkshire Event Centre, Harrogate on February 19-21.
ICA Chief Executive Officer Zelica Carr said: «Dairy farmers really should give serious thought to diversifying. There is a market for premium artisan ice cream and the ICA provides a host of technical and practical support to help make their businesses a success.
«Our expo is the only event of its kind in the UK and provides a wonderful opportunity for farmers to gain an insight into the industry through seminars and meeting some of Europe’s most experienced ice cream makers and equipment suppliers, concluded Zelica Carr.
According to research by Mintel the UK ice cream, sorbet and frozen yogurt market has grown in value by 19 per cent in recent years and is expected to climb to Â£1.1bn this year.
Source: The Dairy Site