Dairy summit ‘must produce action’ to help farmers

NFU Scotland said urgent action was needed to help the dairy sector. Picture: John Devlin
NFU Scotland said urgent action was needed to help the dairy sector. Picture: John Devlin
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A dairy summit, which will bring together key figures from the processors, retailers and finance industries to consider the issues affecting the milk sector in Scotland “must produce action” it was claimed this week.

The event, which will be chaired by rural affairs secretary Richard Lochhead, will look at what more can be done to help the sector and how progress made under the Scottish Government’s diary action plan can be built upon.

However, NFU Scotland milk committee chairman Graeme Kilpatrick said that the unprecedented depth of the crisis required urgent action, adding that governments – at EU, UK and Scottish level – as well as retailers and processors needed to recognise this fact.

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Kilpatrick said that there was a role for a focussed task force which brought key players such as government, senior banking leaders, experts and farmers together to identify strategic and well considered short term actions.

“That approach would dovetail with the work we will be engaged in next week at a European level where we will be urging all UK farming ministers to work with the EU to secure short interim dairy remedies, such as specific volume reduction incentives, intervention, and longer term market related tools,” said Kilpatrick.

“Through the Scottish Dairy Growth Board we are developing new markets and inward investment and through the Scottish dairy hub, we are offering farmers easy access to specialised help and knowledge transfer.”