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Farron calls for a regulator to ensure stability in dairy industry

December 3, 2008 6:28 PM

Shadow Secretary of State for DEFRA Tim Farron MP has raised concerns about the current instability of the dairy industry after Dairy Farmers of Britain announced plans to restructure their business, which included placing up to 640 jobs at risk across the country, the planned closure of Fole and Portsmouth Dairy, and the introduction a retrospective price cut of 2p per litre.

The news follows an announcement made last month by Dairy Crest Ltd that made public their intention to introduce a 4ppl cut in its organic milk price. Dairy Crest justified the decision as a necessary response to supply exceeding the currently reduced demand. However, their price cut comes at a time when milk yields have reached their lowest point in thirty five years.

Commenting Mr Farron said:

"The huge decline in milk production is evidence enough that the dairy industry is struggling badly. But if anyone still needed convincing, the loss of six hundred jobs from Dairy Farmers of Britain only confirms the dire plight of dairy farmers.

"It's crucial that suppliers are discouraged from imposing counter productive, temporary price cuts onto local producers. Forcing farmers to pick up the cost for fluctuating milk demands only reinforces the one sided supply chain between retailers and producers.

"Introducing a powerful market regulator to ensure that dairy farmers are given a fair price for their product will create more stable pricings which can then be reinvested back into the dairy industry."