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Time of the Essence in Delivering Scottish Dairy Plan

NFU Scotland has welcomed the launch of a 25 point plan to help support the Scottish dairy sector but has said that time is of the essence with regards to delivery.

The Scottish Dairy Plan was unveiled by Cabinet Secretary Richard Lochhead while visiting the Taylor family dairy farm at Baldoukie, near Tannadice, Forfar today (March 24).

The action plan aims to improve the resilience of the Scottish dairy sector and provide the right platform to ensure the entire industry can thrive in the face of volatile market prices.

Speaking after a meeting of NFU Scotland’s Milk Committee today (24 March), Chairman Graeme Kilpatrick said:

“A prosperous and vibrant dairy industry is hugely important to the food and farming sectors in Scotland but the current price crash being endured by Scottish producers has left many family dairy farms reeling and with difficult decisions to make.

“Time is of the essence and today’s dairy plan recommendations must be progressed with the utmost urgency.  For those dairy farmers contemplating their future in milking cows the plan sets out aspirations that will be of future benefit if the right groundwork is in place.

“Work to progress a Scottish dairy brand must be underpinned by investment in processing capacity in Scotland so that we have the ability to produce both commodity and added value goods from Scottish milk closer to our own milk fields. The Scottish Government’s intention to actively encourage investment in new and diverse processing must bring speedy results.

 “For First Milk producers, support is to be provided to the Campbeltown creamery for necessary works to be completed but Scottish Government must clarify the level of assistance to be given and the timescale for delivery.   Similarly, assistance to island producers on costly milk haulage cannot wait until the autumn.  That help is needed now.

“Retailers also need to wake up to the fact that Scottish consumers want and expect to see Scottish dairy products properly labelled and identified on their shop shelves and Scottish Government’s commitment to further retailer engagement is good news.  Too many retailers hide behind the support they may give to their liquid milk suppliers, conveniently forgetting those producers who are supplying them with the cheese, butter, cream, yoghurts and dairy desserts that make up the bulk of their dairy categories.”

Notes to Editors

Ends

Contact Bob Carruth on 0131 472 4006
 

Date Published:

News Article No.: 51/15


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