Dairy industry 'withering on the vine' claims Lord Morris

A PAST Secretary of State for Wales and now Lord Morris of Aberavon has expressed serious concerns for the survival of the UK dairy industry.

“I fear the dairy industry is withering on the vine because it is operating on an unfair playing field,” he said.

“The major supermarkets hold the industry in their grip but some have been less fair than others to their discredit. In their own interests do they really want the dairy industry to die?

“There is something completely wrong when a pint of milk is about 50p and a pint of water 83p.”

Lord Morris, who was FUW’s first deputy general secretary and legal adviser, was speaking at the opining of the organisation’s new Royal Welsh showground pavillion.

He added: “When I was a young man working for farmers there were 6,000 registered milk producers in Carmarthenshire alone. I doubt whether there are 3,000 in the whole of Wales now.

“The Westminster Minister of Agriculture is trying to agree a voluntary code of practice with the dairy and retail industries and to work with them to ensure stability in the market.

“But in a deregulatory age this is the only offer on the table and I wish the Minister well, though time is not on his side for it to succeed.”

He said the whole supply chain needed repair and welcomed Lord Plumb’s support in the House of Lords for a Groceries Code Adjudicator (Ombudsman) to ensure fairness in the market place.

The only argument was what powers he should have.

Click here to follow our graduate intern’s insightful blog. This week Ryan discusses the dairy industry crisis.

Readers' comments (6)

  • Sir, anyone can criticise a situation it's easy, what the farmers want is support from all corners of the country to preserve our dairy industry.

    We can do without comments from people like Lord Morris he has a negative attitude, no use whatsoever, we need fighters to keep hold of the industry.

    We don't want to know what went on 50 years ago, this is the 21st century and the farmers need 35ppl to pay production costs and make a profit.

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  • Good to see Lord Morris knows the price of a pint of milk!! At Asda its 25p a pint if you buy a 4 pint bottle. How out of touch with reality are these people?

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  • What a strange attitude from the previous two commentators. Here we have Lord Morris who is supportive of farmers, talking sense and all he gets in response is criticism. I think he could read their responses and wonder why he even bothers about people like that and finally, not all milk is 25p per pint. If you only want one pint then you will be hard pressed to find a pint for 50p.

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  • The industry needs as many friends as possible, and Lord Morris has made it clear that he is a friend; attacking someone who is supportive of the industry simply shows how easy it is for the retailers and processors to divide and rule.

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  • @ Peter Dyson | 31 July 2012 3:57 pm
    "we need fighters to keep hold of the industry."
    Fighters are not gong to achieve much until they have a strategy, and the most important part of that strategy must be to have leaders with ALL the troops behind them. NFU, CLA, FFA, TFA, direct suppliers with supermarket contracts, direct suppliers to processors, co-ops. Until they all get together the slide into chaos may be slowed but will not be halted.

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  • Reply to John Tuck, I thought FFA was all about bringing farmers together united to fight for better prices and obviously have a strategy, without that like you say it will end in utter chaos with nothing achieved.

    I thought it goes without saying that the NFU, CLA,FFA,TFA, are all on the same side fighting the processors and supermarkets if this is not the case farmers are just wasting their time.

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