A recent petition “Introduce minimum prices that milk buyers purchase their milk for from Farmers” has now been responded to by the Government.
56,277 people signed the above petition – 100,000 signatures are required for the petition to be considered for debate in Parliament.
Tom Selby of Rostons who works on behalf of dairy farmers stated “The Governments response is positive in some aspects but the industry will require swift action in order to assist those dairy businesses whose milk price is less than the cost of production. The biggest factor of this petition is the number of people that have signed it and this shows that the whole industry from the farm, to buyers, to the supermarkets need to work together to promote the industry”.
The Government responded: “The Government understands the concerns of British dairy farmers over current pressure on milk prices. The Government is backing British farmers by creating market opportunities at home and abroad.
Britain’s dairy industry is our biggest farming sector and recent farm gate milk price cuts have been a severe blow to the industry. However, we are part of a single market across Europe and as such we cannot and should not dictate what a fair price is for farmers and consumers.
To provide some relief to hard-pressed farmers we secured a £26.6m aid package for the UK from the European Commission – the third largest of all Member States. Dairy farmers across the UK are being paid a one-off, flat rate payment linked to milk production. The majority of payments were made by the RPA on 16 November.
Plans on how to roll out a fairer tax system for farmers were published in July 2015 as part of the Budget. The new system will come into force from April 2016. It will allow our farmers to average their profits for income tax purposes over 5 years to help address price volatility.
UK dairy exports are at record levels and there are big opportunities to sell more of our high quality goods. We want our industry to be world-leading, achieving the very best prices and exporting its high-quality produce across the globe.”
For further information contact the Rostons office on 01829 773000