Today (Thursday 19th), the UK Government have launched a response to the Environment, Food, and Rural Affairs Committee 2015/16 report on farmgate prices.
The Government’s response details a number of areas where action can be taken and improvements can be made to ensure fairer farmgate prices in future – such as clearer labelling to raise product awareness.
However, Stirling’s SNP MP Steven Paterson – and member of the All Party Parliamentary Group on the Dairy Industry – says that much more can be done to protect Scottish farming industries.
Mr Paterson said:
“The past year has been difficult for farmers across Scotland as they have been forced to take a scandalously low farm gate price for their produce. Dairy farmers still often find themselves in the position where it costs much more to farm milk products than they receive at the point of sale and last year Scotch beef and lamb prices dropped as low as £3-4 per head.
“The UK Government’s response to this highlights key areas of priority, however, unfortunately this is backed up by years of inaction and a lack of commitment to make real changes.
“Consumers need to be aware of the impact that cheap dairy products on supermarket shelves can have on our farming communities. Recent polling suggests that most people would favour paying more for a pint of milk in order to benefit and protect the future of our dairy industry.
“Labelling is key in informing consumers about the products they are buying and the UK Government must act to strengthen the Scottish brand under trading regulations to protect the future of Scottish agriculture.”