The Prince's Dairy Initiative

The Prince’s Dairy Initiative, launched in 2012, is a dairy sector led project to improve the resilience of the UK dairy supply chain by helping to secure a viable future for a diverse range of farms. It is delivered by a collaborative industry Steering Group and Working Group managed The Prince’s Countryside Fund, in partnership with AHDB Dairy (previously DairyCo). The project has brought together the dairy sector to take practical action to support the sustainability of a diverse British dairy industry.

This is my first time as a member of a discussion group. We milk around 130 cows and have a couple of hundred sheep. I hope my business can progress and benefit from picking up hints and tips from all the farmers in the group sharing ideas.

- Martin Jones,
Year three Welshpool Group
Through a package of business advice and support it aims to improve confidence and increase efficiencies within a group of farmers identified as vulnerable and likely to cease being a dairy farmer.

The Prince’s Dairy Initiative’s current sponsors from across the dairy industry include AB Agri, Anglia Farmers, Arla, Crediton, Dairy Crest, Dugdale Nutrition, Fayrefields Foods, First Milk, For Farmers, Glanbia Cheese, Meadow Foods, Medina Dairy, Mole Valley Farmers, Müller-Wiseman, OMSCO, Wensleydale Creameries, Wyke Farms and Volac.
It is also supported by DairyUK, NFU and RABDF.

The Initiative is currently recruiting farmers to participate in its 4th year in six regions across the UK. There is also an alumni programme funded by The Prince’s Countryside Fund which supports those who have taken part and provides an impetus for keeping the groups together.


  • To help ensure a diverse, resilient dairy farming sector in the UK.

  • To support farmers in tackling the key challenges in UK dairying - such as volatile prices, increased regulatory demands, herd health matters and resource utilization.

  • To highlight the importance of farm efficiency for the success of the farm business and provide additional tools to help improve efficiency.

  • To establish a supportive network of local like-minded farmers to share ideas and best practice.

Who can join?

Traditional family dairy farmers - with milk herds below 200 cows; Farms on standard contract types – not linked to a specific retail customer.

What does it involve?

  • The farmer’s commitment to the Initiative.

  • A programme involving benchmarking of farm production costs currently delivered by Andersons Consulting and a series of free practical workshops, delivered locally on topics such as herd health and financial management delivered by Promar International and Kite Consulting and supported by DairyCo’s Extension Officers.

  • Access to a network of local farmers to share knowledge and best practice performance.

What are the results to-date?

  • Over 200 farmers have been involved  in the initiative to date with the majority remaining engaged and participating in three or more workshops.

  • Resoundingly positive feedback from the workshops which the farmers have found very valuable in reviewing their business practice and improving their businesses.

  • The vast majority have implemented positive changes on farm as a result of this programme.

This year’s groups with be in:

Campbeltown, Argyll & Bute 
Crathorne, North Yorkshire Moors 
Cumnock, Ayrshire
Denbigh, North West Wales
Sturminster Newton, Dorset 
Workington, North West Cumbria

For more information on the scheme please contact Maddy Fitzgerald at