first report of session 2013-14, Vol. 1: Report, together with formal minutes, oral and written evidence
Author: Great Britain: Parliament: House of Commons: Welsh Affairs Committee
Publisher: Stationery Office
Category: Technology & Engineering
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Dairy farming is of considerable economic and social importance to Wales, accounting for a third of all agricultural production by value and employing thousands of people. The dairy industry in Wales has an estimated total economic output of about £420m, one third (30%) of all Welsh agricultural production. There are 1,901 dairy farmers in Wales who produce 1.5 billion litres of milk per year, 12% of the total UK milk volume. The 224,000 dairy cattle in Wales constitute about 12% of the UK dairy herd. Long-standing cost pressures on dairy farmers came to a head in a crisis in summer last year, 2012, when processors announced a series of milk price reductions to be implemented at short notice. The Committee's key conclusions are: (i) The new voluntary code of practice is an important step forward to redress the balance in the contractual relationship between dairy producer and purchaser; (ii) The Committee urges all dairy processors who have not yet signed the voluntary code to do so; (iii) The code must be given time to work; (iv) Should the voluntary code fail, the UK Government must legislate for a statutory code of contracts.