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Farmgate Prices Report Suggests Action on Rural Payments, Exports
March 4, 2016

A report published by a cross-party group of MPs acknowledges the threats facing the farming industry but positive, visible and tangible action must now be taken, said the NFU.  The EFRA report warns that farmers in the UK are at risk of suffering further cash flow problems if the Rural Payment Agency (RPA) does not commit to fixing ongoing issues with its IT systems. The NFU says it welcomes the EFRA committee’s recommendation to the RPA which states it ‘must return to paying at least 90 per cent of BPS monies by the end of December each year.’

Commenting on this recommendation, NFU President Meurig Raymond says: “This will alleviate the financial turmoil that thousands of farmers have been and still are feeling. And we will be pushing this recommendation in our own discussions with the RPA.”

Commenting on the wider report, Mr Raymond continues: “The fall in prices and associated cash-flow problems are the biggest challenges currently facing our farmer members. And we’re not expecting the market situation to get better anytime soon.

“We are pleased that the EFRA committee has listened to our evidence and to others from across the supply chain and produced this wide-ranging report.

“There is no quick-fix. However the report identifies a range of recommendations that can help in the short-term and not leave the industry so exposed in the future. Our members now expect to see this swiftly followed up with positive, visible and tangible actions.”

Dr Judith Bryans, Chief Executive of Dairy UK, said the entire dairy industry is taking positive steps forward but still needs government support to achieve long-lasting success.

Dr Bryans said: “The report makes a number of recommendations on exports, adding value and promotion that are very much aligned with Dairy UK’s key priorities in these challenging times for the dairy industry.

“From farm to fridge, the industry is affected by harsh market conditions and we must continue to work with Government and its agencies to facilitate and stimulate demand at home as well as in key export markets.

“We welcome the Committee’s recommendation to promote exports with the help of Defra and AHDB. Just last month, Dairy UK published a new export strategy to drive demand for our quality British products abroad and promote UK dairy globally.

“This strategy can help steer industry efforts in the right direction in collaboration with Defra, AHDB and other supply chain stakeholders. In order to develop these new export markets, we will need to showcase and promote the quality, the value and the integrity of UK dairy products.

“We fully agree with the Committee on the need for innovation and new product development to meet changing demands. We must focus on value to make sure we deliver innovative, appealing and nutritious dairy products to consumers across the world.”

By: Cattle Site News Desk
Source: The Dairy Site


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