Robert Craig - Solutions to combat food chain dysfunctionality
Hi, I'm married to Jackie and we have four wonderful children. Ellie 13, Lauren 11, Georgina 10 and Jack 8. Home for the Craig's is in North East Cumbria where we live on the family dairy farm high up on the edge of the Pennines.
I've been an active and very busy dairy farmer for the past 25 years since finishing my formal education. Working primarily on our home farm, building the business from a relatively small family only business milking 50 cows, to 350 cows today employing several members of staff. Over the past 15 years I've embraced the simple, seasonal, low input grazing system of milk production more commonly found in New Zealand. Using this simple and yet highly profitable philosophy has enabled us to grow the dairy business to a stage where we have more time for our children and are able to be actively involved in other projects away from the farm. Much of my learning during the last 15 years has come form the on-farm discussion group route. It's from contacts made from the grazing network that lead us to joining together with another farmer in 2011 to jointly set up a second dairy unit on a local farm milking 500 cows. I've recently just completed two years as Cumbria NFU chairman, a role which I thoroughly enjoyed. The role involved building many strong relationships within the industry, with leaders and politicians locally.