Hard pressed dairy farmers are being urged to consider diversifying into ice cream production to generate greater profits and maintain viability.
The popularity of ice cream in the UK is growing with sales estimated at more than £1bn a year.
The Ice Cream Alliance – the trade body for the UK ice cream industry – has put together a package of training and support to help farmers create successful products and businesses.
Zelica Carr, Chief Executive Officer of The Ice Cream Alliance said: “There are plenty of opportunities for dairy farmers to break into ice cream manufacture. The market is extremely buoyant and the sector is forecast to continue its growth for at least the next five years.
“Ice cream remains the UK’s favourite affordable treat with each person consuming an average of nine litres a year. One of the reasons for its success is the wonderful array of small producers making high quality products and many of these are dairy farmers.
“We believe it is vital for our industry that we continue to attract high quality businesses into ice cream manufacture and we are particularly keen to help dairy farmers.
“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 making award winning ice creams.
“Farmers can get more information from our website or visit us at The Ice Cream Expo 2016 in Harrogate at The Yorkshire Event Centre between February 16-18 where we will be holding a variety of seminars and have plenty of experts to talk to.”
Former dairy farmer David Otterburn switched to ice cream production nearly 30 years ago and has built an award winning product line.
“Switching to ice cream making was best decision we ever made,” said Mr Otterburn. Its a hugely enjoyable and interesting business and instead of getting a few pence per litre farmers have the potential to be earning more than £18 per litre for scooped ice cream. It’s a no brainer as far as I am concerned.”
Mr Otterburn who runs Ryeburn of Helmsley in North Yorkshire and is the current Supreme Champion of the Great Yorkshire Show for dairy products, added: “It’s quite easy to get started. Initial investment is modest and dairy farmers have an advantage because they already have an understanding of milk and fat contents.”
More information on The Ice Cream Alliance can be found at www.ice-cream.org
Media Contact: Steve Verrill – VPR -01430 871166 or 07803 589282