FUW senior policy officer Hazel Wright was appearing before the Welsh affairs select committee during a one-off evidence session into dairy farming in Wales at the House of Commons on March 3. In a follow-up to its 2013 report on The Voluntary Code of Practice in the dairy sector, the committee was also due to hear from representatives of NFU Cymru and Farmers for Action and farming, food and marine environment parliamentary undersecretary George Eustace.
Since the committee last examined the issue, there have been a number of developments including a major fall in the price through the gate for milk, a Russian ban on dairy imports from the EU and delays to payments for some farmers. The environment, food and rural affairs committee has also recently published its report on dairy prices – http://www.publications. parliament.uk/pa/ cm201415/cmselect/cme nvfru/817/817.pdf – which concluded that dairy farmers need greater protection from price volatility.
The Welsh affairs committee will consider its conclusions and recommendations and how they apply to Wales.
The evidence session explored: ·
- The impact of recent price falls and price volatility on Welsh dairy farmers;
- The challenges particular to Welsh dairy farmers;
- The competitiveness of Welsh dairy farms in comparison to farms in other European countries and worldwide;
- The support that Welsh dairy farmers have received from the Welsh Government, UK Government, and the EU;
- The effect of changes to the Basic Payment Scheme and the end of EU milk quotas in 2015;
- The impact of the Voluntary Code of Practice and whether it can be improved;
- The relationship between Welsh dairy farmers and major milk processors and purchasers.
The session can be watched on the Parliament website at:
MPs on the committee are: David T C Davies (chairman), Glyn Davies, Guto Bebb, Geraint Davies, Stephen Doughty, Jonathan Edwards, Nia Griffith, Simon Hart, Siân C James, Karen Lumley, Jessica Morden and Mark Williams.