Scottish Dairy: a Good News Story Waiting to Happen

UK - Scotland’s dairy farmers were outside the Scottish Parliament yesterday calling on the country’s politicians to share in their vision for brighter, fairer dairy sector in the future.
calendar icon 30 April 2009
clock icon 2 minute read

At the event outside Holyrood, organised jointly by Dairy Farmers of Scotland and NFU Scotland, dairy farmers highlighted that the price they receive for their milk has fallen by 20 percent since the start of the 2009 and that confidence amongst Scottish dairy producers is at a low ebb. However, against the backdrop of falling prices to farmers, the supermarket price of milk and cheese has been increasing. All farmers want is their fair share of the margins that some are making out of milk and dairy products.

Speaking from Holyrood, NFU Scotland Vice-president Allan Bowie said: “There is a good news story on dairy waiting to happen. Consumption of fresh milk and quality cheddar cheese is increasing but for farmers to see the benefits we need those who process milk and those supermarkets who sell the products to start sharing the vision of a dairy supply chain that is fair and equitable to all.

“If that doesn’t happen, then we run the risk of Scotland’s dairy farming industry continuing to shrink. In the past decade, a third of dairy farmers have given up milking cows largely because the returns for their hard work, milking cows twice a day, 365 days a year, have rarely covered the costs involved.

“Those dairy farming families here today need a sustained period of profitability to allow them to go back and invest in their businesses for the long term and ensure that Scotland has a viable milk industry in the future. It is in the interests of consumers, milk processors, major supermarkets and Scottish politicians that this happens. The Scottish Government’s landmark food and drink strategy includes milk and dairy products, but we need a critical mass of dairy farmers left in the country if the strategy is to deliver on dairy.

“We expect an announcement on a Scottish Milk summit very shortly. That summit must mark an important step in significantly moving the dairy sector on in Scotland to the benefit of all involved. It must avoid being a ‘talking shop’ but be ambitious and, crucially, drive confidence into the sector. Dairy farmers in Scotland need a real signal that their produce is valued or Scotland’s dairy farming sector runs the risk of dribbling down the sink.”

TheCattleSite News Desk

© 2000 - 2024 - Global Ag Media. All Rights Reserved | No part of this site may be reproduced without permission.