Supermarkets Urged By NFU Cymru Not To Rely On Foreign Milk Supplies

UK - Given current concerns about food miles Mansel Raymond, NFU Cymru’s Milk Board Chairman, is using today’s Welsh Dairy Event to tell supermarkets to support the Welsh dairy industry rather than expose consumers to the uncertainties of the world market and possible shortages of milk supply from countries in the southern hemisphere that are currently being affected by El Nino events.
calendar icon 17 October 2006
clock icon 2 minute read

Mansel Raymond, a dairy farmer from Pembrokeshire, speaking at the Welsh Dairy Event held in Nantyci, said, “Surely it would make better sense for the whole supply chain and Government to promote and encourage a strong dairy industry in Wales, given its climatic advantages, rather than exposing domestic consumers and making them vulnerable to climatic events currently affecting countries such as Australia and New Zealand.”

Current meteorology predictions are that the current El Nino present in the Pacific, is likely to continue until April-May 2007. This means extremely dry conditions in New Zealand and Australia (which has already issued a Drought statement last month) and larger rainfall over South America which can lead to devastating flooding.

In 2002/03 drought drastically affected the Australian dairy industry with dairy farmers estimated to have lost on average $76,6000 over the year. There was a fall in milk production from 11.27 billion litres in 2001/02 to 10.32 in 2002/03. With the country just recovering from the 2002/03 drought the 2007 El Nino could be a challenge for Australia’s dairy farmers.

Neighbours, New Zealand are also growing concerned about the effects an El Nino event next year could have on farm production with a potential fall in agricultural production of about 7% being suggested rather than a current on year growth of 3.9%.

Mansel Raymond said, “We do not want to see dairy farmers anywhere in the world suffering, but, the situation in the southern hemisphere must open UK milk suppliers eyes to the fact that they should be supporting us not driving us out of business. Supporting the domestic dairy industry is consistent with the Welsh Assembly Government’s sustainability agenda.”

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