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About us

MSA Development

The Milk Suppliers Association (MSA) is a Co-operative made up of 131 dairy farmers based throughout South West Scotland that supply approximately 210 million litres of milk per annum to a creamery in Stranraer owned by Lactalis. Lactalis is a leading global dairy business and the largest European milk processor. The creamery at Stranraer produces a range of cheddar cheeses under the brands Seriously Strong, Galloway and McLelland. Cheese is also supplied to retailers for their individual own label brands.

Up until 2012 the farmer group acted on an informal basis with a board of invited farmers acting as a liaison committee. At this point, there was a significant level of dissatisfaction from dairy farmers across the UK about the price of milk and an initiative led by local farmers resulted in the formation of the MSA. The Scottish Government and SAOS both provided assistance to help establish the group. Lactalis also supported its development. The MSA is now an officially constituted Co-operative which has a democratically elected Board of Directors to act on behalf of their members. The purpose of the MSA is:

  • To represent members and to negotiate on their behalf terms and conditions of the milk contract and payments.
  • To act at all times in the best interest of members.
  • To provide a forum for farmer members to discuss issues and needs.

To achieve our purpose, the MSA undertakes a number of activities that include:

  • Holding regular meetings with our customer Lactalis and other industry stakeholders.
  • Employing specific expertise on milk contracts and pricing.
  • Employing a Company Secretary to maintain proper records and accounts.
  • Providing Directors with appropriate training.
  • Supporting our customer Lactalis in their marketing.

The MSA gives members a stronger voice in the market and political developments, access to the latest market information, and delivers new initiatives and opportunities for innovation.

Directors

  • Rory Christie (Chairman) farming at Dourie Farm near Port William.
  • Adam Gray (Vice Chairman) farming at Ingleston near Borgue.
  • Jim Fisher farming at Mark Farm near Castle Kennedy.
  • Robin Hamilton farming at Barmoorhill near Tarbolton.
  • Euan McCaig farming at Kilhilt near Lochans.
  • James McMiken farming at Arbrack Farm near the Isle of Whithorn.

Company Secretary

Hamish Walls. Hamish is a Project Manager for SAOS. He helped the group through their initial stages of formation and now provides the MSA with secretarial and other professional services.

External Expertise

Steve Bradley. Steve Bradley is a dairy industry consultant who provides independent milk price information and is an expert on producer milk contracts.

Latest News!

Have a Mindset For Change and Innovation

October 5, 2018

A recent AHDB Horizon publication highlights the single factor having the greatest impact on performance as identified by University of Minnesota Agricultural Extension Service survey was having a positive attitude.  In the study, it referred to farmers who considered they had control over their own destiny, were free to make their own decisions and, therefore, also held responsibility for errors or losses that were incurred.

The steps for success include:

  • Identify how livestock health can be improved further through considering changes to their housing and handling areas
  • Discuss how contractors can improve your cost base by not owning all of your own machinery
  • Identify your local monitor farm and attend meetings, discussions groups and farm walks
  • Attend local small business (non-farming) discussion groups and seek new ideas and collaborations
  • Listen to others more than you talk to them. Come home with ideas and try them out
  • Enjoy what you do
  • Read business books to gain inspiration from other industries

For more information see.

Traces Found of ‘World’s Oldest Cheese’

September 7, 2018

Scientists have found traces of what they believe is the world’s oldest cheese.

It was made 7,000 years ago in what is now Croatia.

An international team, including Heriot-Watt university researchers, say it led to the transformation of Europe.

It is neither a sturdy cheddar nor a cheeky brie, rather some traces of fatty acids found on fragments of pottery from an archaeological site at Pokrovnik on the Dalmatian coast.  For more see.

SAOS Newsletter

August 31, 2018

News from, and for, Scotland’s farmer co-ops.  For more information see.

Cheese And Red Meat Are Back On The Menu

August 30, 2018

Cheese and red meat are back on the menu – as an international study suggests eating around twice as much as health officials advise.

The study of 220,000 adults found that eating three portions of dairy and one and half portions of meat a day could cut the risk of early death by one quarter.  For more see.

AHDB August Dairy Market Update

August 9, 2018

The latest dairy market update from AHDB is now available.  Watch it at AHDB Dairy.

Knowledge Innovation and Transfer Project

The MSA has been able to access funds from the Knowledge Transfer and Innovation Fund to assist 30 MSA members. This project seeks to reduce cost and help members save money using a new approach which has been tried and tested in other industries. It has also been successfully piloted on two dairy farms in Scotland.

LEARN MORE