Today’s dynamics and challenges in dairy farming require many skills of a farmer. Current discussions around sustainability, environmental impact, transparency in the dairy value chain and critical society acceptance put an increasing pressure on the dairy farmer’s future. Throughout history, farming has been seen as a way of life. But moreover, farming is a 24/7 business requiring more than only passion. It is a specialized profession.
Besides the focus on profitability, farming requires a purpose driven approach, well communicated with the environment. As a dairy producer we need to be professional and open minded towards the society. Express a clear vision on how we run our farm and how we contribute to the growing need of healthy food. Our licence to produce is largely depending on the environment and we cannot ignore this.
As dairy farmers we face many challenges, worldwide. Especially in regards to profitability due to the increasing involvement of the retail. A good relationship, preferably a direct relation with those parties, is of increasing significance. We should elucidate much better our values and explain our contribution to the needs to feed the world. Choosing the right partners becomes more than ever important, and this requires an open mind and willingness to adapt to the market needs. Our passion for farming and the drive for profit only, is not granting us that necessary licence to produce.
So a farmer as entrepreneur should reach out and connect with his surroundings. Not only he leads his own business, leadership is necessary in his total playing field, along the dairy value chain and in the society. The more we embrace and recognize this, the more added value we can deliver to the consumer. This requires, more than ever, entrepreneurship, being a professional showing leadership with a clear vision.
Proud to be a farmer.
Henk Bles, owner Bles Dairies