HARPER ENCOURAGES DAIRY FARMERS TO HAVE THEIR SAY IN CONTRACTS CONSULTATION

South Scotland MSP Emma Harper is encouraging dairy farmers across Dumfries and Galloway to have their voices heard in a new consultation regarding dairy contracts.

Many in the sector are concerned that primary producers tend to occupy positions of relative market weakness in the food supply chain.

The consensus among agricultural producers in Scotland is that unequal bargaining power with processors and retailers can expose farmers to unfair treatment, with the potential to undermine equitable price transmission along the chain.

In response to this the UK Government and The Scottish Government have, in partnership, launched a consultation seeking views on contractual practice in the UK dairy industry and the potential need for reform.

South Scotland MSP, Emma Harper MSP has raised these issues on a number of occasions with the Scottish Government and as a member of the Rural Economy Committee at the Scottish Parliament. This issue is important to Ms Harper as the South West has 48% of all Scottish dairy farms located within her South Scotland region.

Ms Harper’s parliamentary questions to Minister for the Rural Economy, Fergus Ewing MSP, have focused on support for Dairy Producer Organisations to be offered similar support as Fruit and Vegetable Producer Organisations, additionally highlighting their needs during COVID-19.

Last month Ms Harper also joined the UK-wide campaign MilkYourMoments, run by the Agricultural and Horticultural Development Board and financially supported by The Scottish Government. The six week campaign, which included both online promotions and television advertising, encourages people to support the dairy sector and buy milk and milk based products from local producers.

During her scrutiny of the Scottish Parliament’s Agricultural Bill which completed Stage One earlier this month, Ms Harper also helped identify the challenges faced by the Scottish dairy sector.

 

Emma Harper generic Image

Emma Harper MSP said;

“The consultation for the dairy sector is hugely important and I would like to encourage all those working in the dairy sector in South Scotland to seriously take the time to provide their views to help shape future arrangements.

“With the impending Brexit, I would like to ensure my rural South Scotland region receives the best support and to ensure the whole dairy supply chain process is looked at.

“Over the last five years I have been raising awareness of the Scottish dairy sector and this consultation offers a unique opportunity for possible change for a fairer deal in the future.”

The Dairy Sector Consultation closes at 23:45 on the 15th of September 2020. To contribute your thoughts on dairy contracts visit

https://consult.defra.gov.uk/…/contractual-relationships-i…/