Farmers’ union in MSP dairy call

Dairy cattle on Bute.
Dairy cattle on Bute.

Scotland’s farmers’ union has called on MSPs from all parties to play an active part in securing the future of Scotland’s dairy industry.

NFU Scotland officials met MSPs from around the country at a session at Holyrood this week after an inquiry by the Scottish Parliament’s rural affairs committee into the effect of the current milk price crisis on dairy farmers.

Among those present at the meeting was John Smith, of Drumalea in Kintyre, who explained the plight of farmers on the peninsula, as well as the islands of Bute and Gigha, in having no choice but to continue supplying co-operative First Milk despite its decision to slash the price it pays its members for their milk.

NFU Scotland’s milk committee chairman Graeme Kilpatrick said: “MSPs and all Scottish politicians have consistently spoken about their love for Scotland and we are now asking them to build on this passion by doing everything in their power to secure the future of the Scottish dairy sector.

“Dairy farming in Scotland supports thousands of families and hundreds of communities and we need a committed approach from politicians to help ensure the whole dairy chain properly values Scottish milk and dairy products. We all need to work together to secure a bright future for Scotland’s dairy farming families.”

Alex Fergusson MSP, who sponsored the event, said: “The Parliament’s rural affairs, climate change and environment committee has just held an urgent inquiry into the situation, but it is important that those MSPs who have not been directly involved have the opportunity to find out for themselves just how serious the situation is.

“The fact that NFU Scotland is coming to Holyrood to give members this briefing sends out a strong signal on just how dire the situation is.”