Dairy Policy and Economics


The conference will deal with four distinct topics in separate sessions each of which will conclude with a panel discussion with the speakers involved.

Session 1: Trade Policy

09:00 – 09:25 David Walker, New Zealand’s Permanent Representative to the WTO: New Zealand’s experience of Free Trade Agreements.

Whilst the multilateral trade liberalisation process through the WTO has stalled, New Zealand has been foremost amongst dairy nations in negotiating Free Trade Agreements. David Walker will set out New Zealand’s experience of developing these agreements and the impact they have had on the dairy sector in particular.

09:25 – 09:50 Tomas Pietrangeli, Arla Foods: Brexit: Challenges and Opportunities for the UK and the EU.

Brexit will have major implications for both the UK and the EU, but it will also result in the UK pursuing Free Trade Agreements which could impact on milk producing countries around the world. The speaker for this topic will set out the factors influencing the Brexit negotiations, possible outcomes, the potential focus of UK FTAs and impact these may have on the dairy sector.

09:50 – 10:15 Michael Dykes, President and CEO, International Dairy Foods Association: US dairy trade policy: change and continuities

The new Trump administration has put American trade policy in flux, however there are also considerable continuities in the development of US trade policy in agriculture. The speaker will give an insight into US trade policy, describe the factors and institutions shaping agricultural trade negotiations and then discuss the potential implications for dairy.

10:15 – 10:30 Panel Discussion

Session 2: Volatility

11:00 – 11:25 Professor Charles Nicholson, Pennsylvania State University: The dairy price cycle: predictability and mitigation strategies

Dairy prices are now clearly volatile, but they also give the appearance of being cyclical. Charles Nicholson will present on evidence for the predictability of the dairy price cycle, possible drivers, and then discuss potential options for the dairy industry to manage the price cycle or mitigate its impact.

11:25 – 11:50 Sascha Siegel, European Energy Exchange: The advantages of futures contracts in addressing price risk in the EU dairy sector

As the market management undertaken through the EU’s Common Agricultural Policy becomes progressively less important and the EU dairy sector is exposed to greater price volatility, then the search for private sector mechanisms to mitigate price risk grows more important. Sascha Siegel will present on the tools made available to the dairy sector to manage price risk by the availability of the dairy futures contracts on the EEX exchange.

11:50 – 12:15 Gerard Calbrix, Association of French Dairy Processors: The limitations of futures contracts in mitigating price risk in the EU dairy industry

Whilst dairy futures contracts clearly play a role in the USA, there are significant structural and operational differences in the EU that may limit their suitability as a price risk management tool. Gerard Calbrix will examine these issues and set out the potential limitations on the use of futures in the EU dairy sector.

12:15 – 12:30  Panel Discussion

Session 3: Industry Development

14:00 – 14:25  Torsten Hemme, IFCN: Latest global trends in the evolution of dairy farms

The process of dairy farm restructuring seems inexorable but there are differences in speed and direction around the world. Drawing on the global information network created by IFCN Torsten Hemme will provide an overview of global trends in dairy farm evolution.

14:25 – 14:50  Shri Sangram Chaudhary, Executive Director, National Dairy Development Board of India: Sustainability of small animal holder systems

Whilst the global trend is towards continued farm restructuring, in India the small animal holding is central to the fabric of rural life. Shri Sangram Chaudhary will talk about the challenges faced by small holders and the various initiatives being undertaken in India to help protect and improve their sustainability.

14:50 – 15:15  To Be Confirmed

15:15 – 15:30  Panel Discussion

Session 4: New Market Opportunities

16:00 – 16:25  Jan Bles, FrieslandCampina: Market opportunities in Africa

Africa clearly presents one of the greatest future growth opportunities for dairy with rapidly rising populations and rising incomes. Jan Bles will present on the experiences of FrieslandCampina in tackling the challenges and complexities of Africa’s dairy market and the solutions available for creating value in that continent.

16:25 – 16:50  Louise Cooke, CEO Parmalat South Africa: Market opportunities in Southern Africa

Further developing on the theme of Africa, Louise Cooke will set out the unique characteristics of the dairy market in South Africa and its neighbouring countries and the strategies Parmalat has evolved to realise the opportunities available.

16:50 – 17:15  Monica Ganley, Principal of Quarterra: Opportunities in South America

The South American dairy industry and market has its own special characteristics and opportunities. Monica Ganley will give an insight into the region whilst focusing on new market opportunities and how they can be accessed, either through trade or by direct investment.

17:15 – 17:30  Panel Discussion

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