UK faces secure milk calls amidst Euro cost worries

By Neil Merrett

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Dairy supply chain Dairy Milk

Trade association Dairy UK claims that the government must provide security to the country's dairy farmers to ensure industry can meet consumers' cost and nutrition requirements.

Group policy director Peter Dawson says that the government must work so that 'food security' can mean that all stakeholders within the dairy supply chain are able to provide consumers with a sustainable supply of nutritious goods.

Over the last few months, farmers groups from across Europe have been involved in protests and other industrial action as part of plans to draw attention to their concerns over the price they are receiving for their milk and the difficulty in meeting supplies.

UK campaign

Despite recent discussion across Europe regarding the future of farmer support as part of Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) reforms, Dairy UK is calling for more national government support for agriculture.

"We are calling on ministers to express unequivocal support for the future of the dairy sector,"​ stated Dawson. "As milk production drops, policy and regulation needs to be much more carefully weighed for its impact on costs and efficiency in the dairy chain."

Policy review

According to Dawson, a focus such as this will require the government to potentially rethink its policies on everything from biofuels to the Nitrates Directive, which was put in place to protect water from being polluted from agricultural sources.

"Finally, the dairy sector needs government to drive initial research into new technologies that can boost productivity,"​ he stated.

Whether the government will be able to find a balance between these demands alongside its prior policy commitments remains to be seen, though the issue of supply continues to be a major concern for many in Europe's dairy industry.

Euro challenge

Speaking earlier this month before the CAP health check discussions, European Dairy Association (EDA) secretary general​Joop Kleibeuker called for 'Significant changes' in the approach of European politicians and dairy industries to milk production.

Kleibeuker said that ongoing discussion between farmers, manufacturers and politicians needed to establish clear guidelines to ensure a more sustainable dairy supply.

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