Dairy Crest sets GCI on rural lobby

Dairy Crest, the company behind brands such as Cathedral City, Davidstow and Clover, has appointed GCI to its newly created public affairs and issues management account.

GCI’s immediate task is to represent the company to the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs select committee on milk pricing. The company is campaigning for supermarkets’ milk price cuts to be passed on to farmers. Once part of the now-demerged Milk Marketing Board, Dairy Crest is 32 per cent owned by a group of milk producers in England and Wales.

With agricultural and rural issues continuing to rise up the political and policy agenda, GCI will also lobby on reform of the Common Agricultural Policy, the Govern- ment’s refreshed Rural Strategy, implementation of the Sustainable Farming and Food strategy and the workings of the dairy supply chain.

GCI saw off Weber Shandwick GJW, Bell Pottinger Public Affairs and Hill & Knowlton in a pitch to land the account. The team will be led by director Rod Cartwright, head of the firm’s public affairs practice GCI Political Counsel.

Dairy Crest’s other brands include Country Life, Willow, Petits Filous and Yop. The firm, whose main rivals are Arla Foods, Robert Wiseman Dairies and Unilever, generated sales of £1.1bn for the 12 months to the end of March 2003.

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