News
15th Apr

2020

TFA Media Release – MR20/18 – Dairy Sector Needs Support like Never Before

The Tenant Farmers Association (TFA) is calling for the Government to coordinate an emergency response to the current crisis within the dairy sector.

The overnight loss of food service, hospitality and catering outlets as a result of the Government’s necessary disease control restrictions, has had massive ramifications for the dairy sector.  We welcome the Government’s commitment to ensuring that businesses can weather the storm, but we need to see how the Government will apply this to the dairy sector.

TFA Chief Executive, George Dunn, said, “First and foremost, the Government should be scrutinising what retailers are doing to ensure they are increasing throughput of dairy products through their stores to satisfy enhanced retail demand.   There is plenty of supply in the sector to remove the need for retailers to limit purchases.  There is an opportunity for retailers to provide a wide range of products to consumers who will be looking to recreate restaurant style experiences at home.  Limiting the range of products available to consumers is neither helpful nor necessary at this time.  Processors must not be put under undue pressure to fund promotions, to access shelf space or retain their retail listing”.

However, we have to accept that not all of the output previously destined for the foodservice sector will find its way to consumers through retail.  Alongside the Government’s efforts to enhance retail trade, it must also intervene in the market to support volume reduction measures and remove surplus product.

“Rather than placing stocks of milk into store, by converting it into butter, powder and cheese, the Government should coordinate the purchase of product to be redirected to the charitable sector including food banks and other relief efforts.  This will ensure that everyone has access to good quality dairy products and we are not creating a situation where stocks are overhanging the market for when conditions are beginning to return to normal.  Short-term volume reduction measures should also be considered as well as retirement options for those dairy farm businesses which may not consider that they have a future beyond the current crisis,” said Mr Dunn.

-Ends-

Ref:  MR 20/18         

Date: 15 April 2020

Notes for Editors:

For media enquiries, contact Julia Meadows, TFA Communications and Events Co-ordinator, on 0118 930 6130 or 07887 777157.

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