To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment she has made of (a) the possibility of establishing a dairy futures market and (b) other options in reducing price volatility in the dairy industry; and if she will make a statement.
I had a constructive discussion on the potential for developing futures markets at the Dairy Supply Chain Forum on 19 November. There is scope to develop some of the embryonic markets we already have in skimmed milk powder in the UK. By building on what currently exists and by improving accessibility, it may help to manage the inherent volatility in the marketplace. Membersof the Dairy Supply Chain Forum are exploring how this could be achieved and the NFU will report on progress in the New Year. These issues are also being explored through the joint Defra/Industry Farming Resilience Group, which I chair. The next meeting will take place in January 2015.
On its website, DairyCo provides domestic dairy farmers with a range of educational materials and guidance on futures markets and other forms of price risk management.