Two dairy champions have been recognised for their invaluable contribution to the dairy industry.

Phil Hogan, European Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development, and Simon Hoare MP are this year’s winners of the Dairy UK Award.

Commissioner Phil Hogan was honoured with the award in recognition of his unwavering commitment to support dairy exports and ensuring the industry is of strategic importance within Europe. The award was presented by Dr David Dobbin, chairman of Dairy UK, during the Dairy UK Annual Dinner at the Royal Garden Hotel in London on 21st June 2017.

Simon Hoare MP most notably chairs the Dairy All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) and is currently leading an inquiry into skills and labour in the British dairy industry. Simon also played an integral role in ensuring the exemption of milk-based drinks from the soft drinks industry levy last year. His award was presented by Gyles Brandreth, author, broadcaster, actor, and former Conservative MP.

Speaking at the annual industry dinner, Dr David Dobbin, chairman of Dairy UK, said: “Both winners work tirelessly to promote the dairy industry from farm to fridge. It’s important that we have key decision makers like Commissioner Hogan and Simon Hoare MP to ensure that the industry is protected at home and abroad.

“Commissioner Hogan’s advocacy for food and farming has made a real difference, especially for farmers.

“Additionally, Simon’s proactive leadership in the Dairy APPG has helped to ensure that the interests of the industry are centre stage.”

On receiving his award, Commissioner Phil Hogan added: “I want to thank Dairy UK for this award – it is a real honour. As someone who grew up on a small dairy farm in Ireland, the industry has always been an important part of my life. The Commission will continue to stand by the sector and I will do anything in my power to support it as we move ahead.”

Simon Hoare MP, said: “It is a pleasure and duty to speak up for, champion and encourage our vital UK dairy industry.”