Aleck Nairn, of Kerrycroy Farm, which has a herd of 160, claimed that not only are Bute's current milk producers positive, and determined to maintain the industry, but that other people would also be willing to come onto the island, and take on some of the soon-to-be available dairy farms.

Mr Nairn, who has just turned 38, and is the NFUS milk committee rep for Argyll and Bute, said: "There are a lot of people who are raring to go, and interested in taking on some of the dairy farms which are due to become available, but, like any other industry, the price of our produce is pivotal!

"The foundation of the whole problem here is the milk price – if you have a sustainable milk price, then you will have a sustainable industry."

Regarding the Bute Estate, and whether it has eased the dairy situation, Mr Nairn continued: "The estate has been very supportive and it recognises the value of the Bute dairy industry to itself and to the island as a whole."

Mr Nairn noted that the volume of milk production on Bute has decreased from 45,000 litres per day to 27,500 litres per day, and said he hoped some of that could be recovered: "All of us hope that we can recover the Bute dairy industry. Obviously we aren't going to be able to get the level of production up to the volume that it used to be, but we hope we can increase it, in order to see our dairy industry thrive.

"I have been on Bute for 20 years now, and I hope I do not need to go anywhere else. I would like to see myself here for another 20 years, at least," he concluded.