UFU/DAIRY UK NI Progress With Plans To Tackle Crisis In Dairy Sector

The Ulster Farmers’ Union and the industry trade body Dairy UK (NI) have announced a new initiative to tackle the crisis in the dairy sector.

The UFU and Dairy UK NI are working to find a solution to the dairy crisis.
The UFU and Dairy UK NI are working to find a solution to the dairy crisis.

This is built around ways to manage margins along the supply chain from farm to supermarket shelf and is in addition to a drive by the UFU to work with the banks and businesses supplying farmers to ease the current intense cash flow pressure on farm families.

This initiative comes alongside the UFU and Dairy UK’s call for the European Commission not to introduce tendering of Intervention, once the current cap of 109,000 tonnes is reached.

Instead it wants the clock set back to zero. The industry sees Intervention as a proven mechanism for tightening supplies, and believes an early announcement to extend current Intervention purchasing would help put a much needed floor into the market.

Under this joint initiative, key players in the supply chain will be invited to help develop a plan to deliver better margins for farmers. The aim is to have this up and running by the autumn of 2016. Jonathan Moore, UFU dairy policy chairman, said the initiative is a first because it will see key players coming together to deliver benefits for the entire dairy supply chain. He added: “If we are to have a sustainable dairy sector we need innovative and collaborative action. The UFU believes this joint approach can deliver this”.

Paul Vernon, chairman of Dairy UK (NI), said: “The current difficulties in the dairy sector are well documented. We must find better ways to deal with volatility and the uncertainty it brings.

“Volatility is an issue that affects the whole supply chain, not just farmers and processors, and this is why we want all supply chain stakeholders around the table to ensure we achieve our goals together.”