A Strategic Action Plan For The Welsh Dair Industry

UK - NFU Cymru shares the vision for a sustainable, profitable, efficient, innovative Welsh dairy sector which benefits the people of Wales - which is set out in the new Strategic Action Plan for the Welsh Dairy Industry being launched by the Welsh Assembly Government today at the Welsh Dairy Event.
calendar icon 14 November 2007
clock icon 2 minute read

Dai Davies, NFU Cymru President said, “From the time the Strategic Action Plan was first thought of to its publication the producer milk price has risen by a much needed 8pence a litre. This to my mind illustrates that it is the supply/demand situation that has the major bearing on milk price. During this time production costs, feeding stuffs and the oil price particularly have gone through the roof but these are issues upon which the dairy strategy will have little or no bearing. So whilst these are the main determinants of profitability in the milk sector the actions alluded to in the report are likely to make a difference only at the margins. Major factors in determining whether the exodus of milk producers continues will be profitability and if the Single Farm Payment, which is currently calculated on the basis of historic payments, is revised to a regionalised approach. This must be resisted.”

NFU Cymru feels the plan for the Welsh dairy industry is good on analysis but there is no evidence of any new strategic thinking to take the industry forward. Despite the extensive consultation and the recommendations made by the cross-party Environment, Planning and Countryside (EPC) Committee following its inquiry into the strategic action plan for the dairy industry immediately before the elections last May, none of the Committee’s recommendations, or indeed those of NFU Cymru, appear to have been heeded.

Dai Davies said, “This document has been a very long time coming to fruition but I fear that this is another document that is merely going to gather dust. When NFU Cymru provided both written and oral evidence to the EPC Committee we recognised that many of the industry’s problems were commercial in nature and therefore the solutions had to be such but I had hoped that the final document would at least commit to scrutinising the activities of the supply chain, seek to influence a competition framework that allows consolidation of milk processing business and create the regulatory conditions in which the dairy industry could be profitable.

Mr Davies concluded, “I regret to say that this document ignores the ‘big issues’ that beset the industry and concentrates on the peripheral.”

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