Damien McLoughlin

Keep investing, don't be scared

Despite recent volatile milk prices that have fearfully shaken confidence in dairying, a global food marketing expert is encouraging dairy leaders to “hold their nerve and invest”.

Professor Damien McLoughlin from University College Dublin expects milk prices to stabilise but says in the short term European dairy farmers are concerned about their cash flow and whether to continue with their investment plans.

”I don’t think there’s any doubt that the medium term prospects for dairying are very positive and we’re encouraging farmers to hold their nerve and invest.”

As a result of the EU’s plan to abolish its 30-year-old milk quota system, Damien welcomes the deregulation of the dairy sector in Europe that also allows 28 member countries to increase dairy production.

New Zealand dairy exporter Fonterra also welcomes the removal of EU milk quotas, which it regarded as a market distortion and “the last piece of the puzzle” in removing trade barriers with Europe.

This will increase competition in the industry, boost consumption of dairy-based protein, and increase the size of the global dairy market, he says.

“I think it’s a good thing; it’s good for Europe, it’s good for Ireland, and it’s good for New Zealand.”

Damien is the co-leader of the second Queenstown Agribusiness Symposium that will be held from March 24 to 27.

The symposium uses a case-study approach with real agribusiness scenarios, where delegates discuss issues ranging from new business models to embracing new thinking about industry challenges.

International guest speakers representing global agribusinesses will also share their thoughts on the industry and their experience first-hand.

Damien says the key message guest speakers will bring to the symposium is an absolute requirement for food professionals to rethink their strategy on innovation and look for new opportunities to create more innovation.

“There’s a need to create a future for your business. You need to rethink your relationships with key retailers and work on partnerships with them based on innovation.”

Retailers, Damien says, are the primary means of accessing consumers and that is unlikely to change regardless of technological advancements. 

Co-hosted by Mary Shelman from Harvard Business School, the symposium is expected to attract senior agricultural and business leaders from throughout the Asia Pacific region.

Both Damien and Mary are world renowned leaders in the food and agricultural business sector.

Sourced content from NZ Farmer

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