Proposals are being drawn up by the Scottish Government to establish an independent Scottish Dairy Bureau to help Scotland's dairy industry meet growing global demand for premium products and dominate the multi-billion pound international market by 2025.
Paul Grant, chairman of the internationally successful jam and marmalade manufacturer Mackays of Carnoustie, has been appointed to oversee the transformation of Scotland's dairy industry.
He will begin to formulate the make-up of the Scottish Dairy Growth Board.
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Global demand for dairy products, especially those with strong provenance and health credentials, is rising, driven by emerging markets in Brazil, Russia, India and China and surrounding regions. Currently, the Scottish dairy industry, like the rest of the UK dairy industry, is over-reliant on the domestic market (around 92% of Scottish dairy products are sold in the UK).
Exploiting these emerging export opportunities is seen by government as an economic imperative, to strengthen the returns for the sector and manage risk.
In addition, there is significant scope for import substitution, given the ongoing demand from UK consumers for domestically produced, high quality products.
The Scottish Government's Minister for Rural Affairs Richard Lochhead said: "Paul has successfully transformed Mackays into a worldwide brand exporting products to 50 countries across the globe, and this wealth of experience and leadership will be pivotal as we seek to grow the dairy sector and make the most of any opportunities now opening up for our high quality dairy products.
"New markets are constantly opening and emerging, and he will couple Scotland's enviable food and drink provenance with the expertise of our dairy farmers and processors to capitalise on the global demand for premium products.
"I'm confident that under Paul's stewardship, the sector will move forward at pace and significantly grow its output and profitability."