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NVZ Changes will Add Costs to Dairy Sector

28 July 2008

UK - The UK's dairy industry organisation Dairy UK has hit out at the governments plans to revise the Nitrate Vulnerable Zone (NVZ) Action Programme.

Dairy UK Director General Jim Begg said: "Defra's NVZ Action Programme has serious implications for the dairy industry.

"Our research suggests that the new measures on slurry storage and closed periods for muck spreading will cost the industry £600 million over 10 years.

"By any measure, this is a massive additional burden, and one the dairy sector is ill able to afford. Production costs have risen sharply with the cost of fuel, energy, fertiliser, and animal feed all much higher than they were a year ago.

"Farmers take their environmental responsibilities seriously, but require confidence to invest on this scale. Although the whole dairy sector is doing its utmost to add value to milk, consumers are already complaining about food price rises, and Defra’s measures will only intensify inflationary pressures.

"The new rules will raise the bar on the cost of expansion for dairy farmers. UK milk production is already on the slide because farmers cannot afford to invest enough in their businesses. Under the revised Action Programme it will be even harder to convince farmers of the benefits of raising milk output.

"The government must understand the serious cost constraints producers are under. It makes reaching a meaningful conclusion to the food security debate even more urgent."

TheCattleSite News Desk



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