Connecting the dots
Image: Digital Dairy Chain
The Digital Dairy Chain has launched across the northwest UK, and promises to offer the dairy sector digital connectivity, with grant funding and sustainable solutions. The five-year, £21 million project is focused on dairy areas in Cumbria, South and West Scotland. Research, new product development and supply chain digitalisation are all part of the plan for the chain. It also includes projects to encourage people into the sector, an accelerator programme for production, transport and manufacturing, and an innovation brokerage to work alongside any business involved in the dairy supply chain.
Most recently, the chain has inaugurated a “Think Dairy” Careers Expo. This has also led to Lanarkshire dairies opening their gates to students for a careers pilot, to show them what dairy is about and to educate, guide and steer the younger generation, those outside the labour market or those looking for a career change to consider the opportunities in dairy. Roles vary from milking cows, being responsible for animal welfare, or analysing herd data to help improve milk yield. The pilot aims to help match people with employers and the appropriate training, where needed.
Meanwhile, First Milk and others have gathered together from across the supply chain to find solutions to the technology challenges they identified together.
Six projects spanning farm, transport and factory are doing just that. Two of the farm-based studies are extending the use of existing on-farm sensor technologies to investigate and improve cow welfare.
It’s a good place for the UK Research and Innovation programme to start, as Cumbria and South West Scotland is the UK’s second largest milk field, producing 1.9 billion litres per year, with 52 dairy manufacturing businesses in the area.
Knowledge is power and today in the dairy industry, and those of us not in that particular geographic area can make the most of our gathering together at the International Cheese and Dairy Expo on 27 June in Stafford, UK. Along with the SDT Symposium and Dinner on 26 June and the ICDA Awards and networking lunch, it will provide news of the latest technologies and how it impacts your business. Don’t miss out.
- Suzanne Christiansen, editor, Dairy Industries International.
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