The MSA is a co-operative made up of 131 dairy farmers that supply 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 vast majority of the members farm in Dumfries and Galloway and East Ayrshire with a significant proportion based in Wigtownshire and Kirkcudbrightshire close to the creamery.
This area of Scotland is ideally suited for dairy farming where good rainfall, high levels of sunshine and mild winters provide excellent grass growing conditions. The members use this natural resource and employ a variety of systems to feed their livestock. Grazing and home grown forage is key with many cows outside on grass for long periods of time.
The members also keep a range of different breeds on their farms to suit the farm, the local climate and the systems they employ. They include; Holsteins, Friesians, Ayrshires, Jerseys and other European breeds. This variety alongside differing small, medium and large farm sizes adds to the diversity of milk pool and strengthens the ability of members to supply an even volume of high quality milk suitable to make cheese throughout the year.
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.