To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what recent assessment she has made of the dairy milk trade and its effect on dairy farmers; if she will consider introducing a code of practice in the dairy supply chain; and if she will make a statement.
I can appreciate the difficulties for farmers as a result of recent cuts in milk prices. However, income for all operators in the supply chain will vary as a result of price changes on global agricultural markets. World, EU and UK market prices have all dropped in recent months.
Industry representatives are currently well engaged in the process of establishing a voluntary Code of Practice for the dairy industry and I fully support these efforts. This has the potential to improve the position of farmers and it could be up and running far more quickly than any legislation. It would also leave the industry in control.