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Volume 493: debated on Monday 1 June 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what recent steps he has taken to support milk production; and what assessment he has made of the effect on dairy farmers of recent trends in the price of milk. (276196)

While the dairy sector is responsible for determining milk production, DEFRA helps the supply chain address issues through the Dairy Supply Chain Forum.

I am aware of the current prices and declining milk production, and their effect on the dairy sector at present. This is not specific to the UK, as other EU member states are also experiencing similar drops in milk deliveries. It is normal to see a fall in prices at this time of year due to seasonal production increases. This has been exacerbated somewhat by the high returns experienced in 2007-08 which resulted in an increase in supply, and the fall in global demand seen recently due to the current economic situation.