This petition was submitted during the 2015–2017 Conservative government
Petition Introduce minimum prices that milk buyers purchase their milk for from Farmers
I am a young man and I work as a Dairy Service Engineer. I have been in the job for nearly 4 years and for that whole period the milk prices have only been dropping. This doesn't only affect farmers, it affects every other industry that works within a farming enviroment.
The company I work for is a huge influence in the dairy industry in the South West, and this year has seen a dramatic drop in work for us and other companies alike. Farming is the back bone of the UK and anything that happens to the farming community in the UK has a ripple effect and has a huge consequence on the other industries that thrive on this back bone. We see on local news, weekly if not daily, how much of a struggle farmers have trying to produce milk with a minimal margin for profit.
This petition is closed This petition ran for 6 months
This response was given on 2 December 2015
The government understands the concerns of British dairy farmers over current pressure on milk prices. The government is backing British farmers by creating market opportunities at home and abroad.
Read the response in full
Britain’s dairy industry is our biggest farming sector and recent farm gate milk price cuts have been a severe blow to the industry. However, we are part of a single market across Europe and as such we cannot and should not dictate what a fair price is for farmers and consumers.
To provide some relief to hard-pressed farmers we secured a £26.6m aid package for the UK from the European Commission – the third largest of all Member States. Dairy farmers across the UK are being paid a one-off, flat rate payment linked to milk production. The majority of payments were made by the RPA on 16 November.
Plans on how to roll out a fairer tax system for farmers were published in July 2015 as part of the Budget. The new system will come into force from April 2016. It will allow our farmers to average their profits for income tax purposes over 5 years to help address price volatility.
UK dairy exports are at record levels and there are big opportunities to sell more of our high quality goods. We want our industry to be world-leading, achieving the very best prices and exporting its high-quality produce across the globe.
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Other parliamentary business
House of Commons Committee looks at Dairy Prices
You recently signed a petition on the UK Government and Parliament Petitions website to:
Introduce minimum prices that milk buyers purchase their milk for from Farmers: https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/105450
At 2.30pm today the EFRA Committee will be holding a one-off evidence session on dairy prices where they will question witnesses from the National Farmers’ Union and Dairy UK. They will then question the Government Minister responsible for food and farming George Eustice MP.
You can find out more about the evidence session and watch it live on the Committee’s website: http://www.parliament.uk/business/committees/committees-a-z/commons-select/environment-food-and-rural-affairs-committee/news-parliament-2015/dairy-prices/
After the meeting, the video and transcript will be made available on the same page (the transcript will take a couple of days to appear).
You can follow the EFRA Committee on Twitter: @CommonsEFRA
The Petitions Committee will look at this petition to decide if it will take any further action, once it receives its Government response.