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Dairy Industry

Volume 603: debated on Thursday 17 December 2015

11. What steps her Department is taking to make the dairy industry more resilient to the volatility of world milk prices. (902785)

We understand the pressures facing dairy farmers and have taken action to ease their cash-flow problems. The £26.2 million aid package we secured from the European Commission will provide some immediate relief. In addition to that short-term support, we are introducing a fairer tax system for farmers, pushing for clearer labelling of British dairy products and developing a futures market for dairy.

I thank the Minister for that answer, but may I press him a little harder on this subject, rather as happened with the Sussex wine? What help is his Department able to offer milk processers so that they can add more value to milk products, enhancing the opportunities to export them around the world?

My hon. Friend makes an important point. DEFRA has previously supported investment in processing, for instance at Davidstow in Cornwall, through the rural development programme. We are investigating the potential to use funds through the European Investment Bank to make loan capital available to invest in new processing capacity.