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Union Urges Development in Further Processing Facilities Following Dairy Sector Debate

Following yesterday’s debate on the Scottish dairy industry within the Scottish Parliament, NFU Scotland has welcomed the political support for the dairy sector.

The Union is calling on the Scottish Government now to do all it can to support the development of existing dairy processing facilities and to continue to work with the dairy sector to secure new processing facilities in Scotland.

At yesterday’s Rural Affairs, Climate Change and Environment Committee debate, Cabinet Secretary Richard Lochhead announced investment in Campbeltown Creamery, which is welcomed by the Union. This commitment demonstrates the depth of understanding of the importance of the facility to the rural community of Kintyre.

Further to this, NFU Scotland calls for Scottish and UK politicians to work together to seek opportunities to expand market access and that a clear and transparent approach to labelling must be developed to promote Scottish produce on supermarket shelves.

Immediate action on reducing ferry fares for First Milk transporting milk off the islands of Bute and Gigha is required.

NFU Scotland’s Milk Committee Chairman Graeme Kilpatrick commented: “We are encouraged by the widespread support amongst MSPs for the dairy industry but this support needs to be delivered in actions that will support the long term viability of milk production in Scotland.   Dairy farmers cannot sustain milking at the low prices they are now being paid.

“The debate in the Scottish Parliament shows the actions that are being taken which will help the industry in the longer term.

“We encourage the Scottish Government to continue to actively work on securing the long term future of dairy farming in Scotland and welcome constructive discussion on what further, immediate action can be taken to alleviate pressure in the short-term.

“In the longer-term we need to have stronger powers for the Groceries Code Adjudicator and more transparency within the supply chain.

“Milk producers in our rural communities continue to face a challenging period and we must do everything possible to support these dedicated and efficient farmers. We continue to ask for action in the short term to bring ferry fares for milk haulage in line to those with livestock and animal feed haulage.”

Ends

Contact Ruth McClean on 0131 472 4108

Date Published:

News Article No.: 59/15


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