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The Polish Dairy Co-operative Organisation held a “Dairy Co-operative Forum” in Serock, Poland on the 26-28 September attended by ICOS European Affairs Executive, Alison Graham, EU officials and the chief players in the European dairy industry. The discussion focused on the current state of the dairy sector in the EU and worldwide, with particular focus on SMP stocks and the correct way forward, as well as the reform of the CAP and its CMO policy. Market trends both in terms of supply and demand and developments in international trade relations were explored, where Brexit was highlighted as key threat to the Polish industry, “second only to Ireland”.

In addition to this, leading global dairy co-operatives took the floor to describe their business strategies, including Valio, who detailed their focus on innovation and investment in future trends, particularly their range of “free from products”, and Fonterra, who discussed on how they manage risk and utilise Futures Exchanges.

Of particular interest was the discussion on future sustainability trends regarding dairy packaging and the need to respond to the EU’s new Circular Economy and Plastics Strategies, presented by Tetra Pak as well as the presentation from the EEX on their dairy futures exchanges, how they work, how co-operatives can access them and the benefits they can provide in terms of risk management.

If interested, presentations from the event are available by contacting Alison Graham at alison.graham@icos.ie

Alison Graham

European Affairs Executive