At the recent Semex dairy conference in Glasgow, Scotland, several industry professionals discussed the impact of plant-based dairy alternatives on dairy industry profits. Judith Byron, the chief executive of trade group Dairy UK, revealed that the industry lobby is launching a £1.2 million ($1.7 million) advertising campaign next month to combat the negative image of dairy products. Judith Capper, a livestock sustainability consultant implied that traditional dairy campaigning may no longer be enough. While vegans comprise a small portion of the population in the United Kingdom, Capper said their collective ethical message—or “very loud voices”—is making an impact. “There is a need in the dairy sector for some myth busting,” Capper said. “If consumers don’t buy our products—milk, cream, butter, cheese, etc.—we will not have a dairy industry in five to 10 years.” Professor Patrick Wall of Dublin University pointed the panelists to other competitors set to challenge the appeal of animal dairy milk. “We also have a United States firm going into production next year with a cow-free milk product called Perfect Day,” Walls said. “It is animal-free milk. They have cut out the middleman, as in the cow.” Plant-based dairy is gaining global market share over its animal-based counterpart, and retailers are introducing new products that align with consumer habits, including supermarket chains Sainsbury’s, Asda, Tesco, and Co-op which have all launched vegan lines in recent months.
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