A five-point action plan to tackle pricing issues affecting the dairy industry has been unveiled by Rural Affairs secretary Richard Lochhead.
Lochhead told representatives of NFU Scotland that he has called for a summit with his UK and Welsh colleagues which would take place in advance of the Royal Welsh Show.
The meeting with the NFUS representatives was part of Lochhead’s continuing efforts to address the current pricing crisis and to find ways to better support Scotland’s dairy farmers who are facing plummeting prices at a time of rising costs.
The five-point plan includes:
- Calling for a ministerial summit to discuss the current situation and establish a timetable for consulting on legislation
- Asking Defra minister Jim Paice to appoint an independent objective facilitator to assist with the current negotiations between producers and processors in an effort to agree a voluntary code of practice.
- Writing to retailers demanding clarity for consumers about how much producers receive for their milk.
- Commissioning a long-term strategic review to establish where the dairy industry wants to be in 10 years and how to get there.
- Ensuring the Scottish Agricultural Organisation Society (SAOS) have sufficient resources to accelerate their existing work on producer organisations and co-operatives.
Lochhead said: "I am clear that every part of the supply chain has a part to play in finding a solution to the current problem, including retailers and supermarkets.
"We all drink milk and we need the dairy industry to continue and we must not risk letting it crumble. I know that consumers are right behind the milk industry."
Source: The Scottish Government