fergusson welcomes government’s dairy plan

Galloway & West Dumfries MSP Alex Fergusson has welcomed the publication of the Scottish Government’s dairy plan.

Speaking from the Scottish Parliament he said:

“There is nothing within the plan that I would argue with and it is generally to be welcomed, but no dairy farmer will look at it and think ‘all my troubles are over’. However, while it is true that the current abysmal price that farmers are receiving for their milk is largely due to the global situation, if the measures in the Dairy Plan were implemented there is no doubt that the dairy sector would be in a better place”.

“Much of the success of the plan will depend on the willingness of the retail sector to proactively source Scottish dairy products and give them prominent shelf space. There is no doubt that there is a willingness by the consumer to buy Scottish, but it needs the retailers to play their part. Similarly, if retailers were brought into the Voluntary Code of Conduct, as I recommended in my October 2014 Review of the Code, it would greatly increase the degree of openness and transparency within the supply chain. That could only benefit all the links within that chain”.

“If new investment in dairy processing is to be achieved, this plan needs to be pursued with urgency because, in the meantime, our dairy farmers continue to produce milk at a loss. There is only a limited amount of time anyone can do that”.