Dairy Products: Milk

Trade and Industry written question – answered on 22nd May 2007.

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Photo of Anne Snelgrove Anne Snelgrove PPS (Rt Hon Patricia Hewitt, Secretary of State), Department of Health

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what recent discussions he has had with supermarkets regarding the price of milk and its effect on dairy farmers.

Photo of Ian McCartney Ian McCartney Minister of State (Trade & Investment), Department of Trade and Industry, Minister of State (Trade & Investment), Foreign & Commonwealth Office

Ministers and senior officials meet with all businesses, including supermarkets, from time to time to discuss a range of issues.

Milk pricing is primarily an issue for DEFRA and for OFT. However, the Competition Commission in the course of its investigation into the UK grocery market highlighted in its emerging thinking document published in January

That the number of dairy and pig meat farmers has declined in recent years indicating significant difficulties in those sectors. Average incomes are now rising but supermarkets are retaining an increasing share of the retail price for milk (the situation is less clear for pig meat). We will be looking at this further as well as other primary produce sectors.

The CC has not yet reached any conclusions but hopes to publish its final report in February 2008.

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