A WELSH MP is urging the Welsh Development Agency to stop Dairy Crest buying three of the five ACC creameries that are on the market.

Adam Price (Carmarthen East and Dinefwr) claims that the company‘s record for closing Welsh plants justifies the use of public funding to prevent it acquiring ACC‘s creameries at Cardiff, Llangadog and Llandernog.

He told the Western Mail that the WDA should intervene temporarily as the first step in the establishment of a new co-op committed to safeguarding the processing industry.

He said he feared that Dairy Crest would make a predatory and anti-competitive bid to close Welsh capacity, grab the market share and move jobs to England.

In the short term a WDA bid could buy the time needed to set up a Welsh farmer owned co-op, he said. 

This could safeguard jobs and the Cadog range of value added dairy products launched three months ago.

“It would be a major contribution to turning round a sector that has gone through very difficult times in the last few years,” said Mr Price.

Wynfford James, director of the WDA agri-food directorate, said it was well aware of the issues surrounding the sale of ACC’s Welsh plants.

Its account managers were already involved in “ongoing dialogue” with the company‘s chief executive, he added.