The Government has a key role to play in helping the dairy industry meet the formidable challenges it is facing, Dairy UK told MPs today.
Appearing before the Efra Select Committee, Dr Judith Bryans, Chief Executive of Dairy UK, said:
“The UK dairy industry is going through extremely challenging times. These difficulties are likely to continue in the coming months and market conditions will get tougher before they get better.
“These conditions are affecting farmers and processors alike and there is no element of the dairy supply chain that is insulated. Price volatility is the result of an oversupplied global dairy market and poses a severe challenge with tight margins and reduced profits.”
In its evidence to the committee, Dairy UK said that long-term prospects for the industry remain positive and there are steps that can be taken to help in the short and medium term.
Intervention at EU level may be necessary in 2015. Other long term-measures that the Government can help with include minimizing the burden of regulation e.g. sympathetic planning laws; competitive energy costs; supporting the promotion of dairy products; and supporting the actions of the industry with regard to exports.
Dr Bryans added: “The dairy industry needs all the support it can get from the Government to protect existing export markets and develop new ones. We would welcome measures aiming at easing the burden of red tape around exports, such as creating a one-stop shop for export health certification.”