23 March 1999
Government challenged on dairy recovery

THE National Farmers Union of Scotland challenged the government yesterday to justify its claim that the farming sector was in recovery.

Ian Kerr, recently appointed convener of the unions milk committee, said he saw no sign of recovery and expects to see another drop in milk prices in the summer.

Labour spokesman John Home-Robertson, speaking at the same pre-election forum in Edinburgh, agreed the sector was in difficulties.

He said the solution was for those businesses which produce milk in Scotland to add value.

Mr Home-Robertson said primary producers had become “detached” from their market in recent years and producers should be urged to exploit niche markets.

John Duncan, chairman and chief executive of Scottish Milk, said Mr Home-Robertsons response showed a lack of understanding of the dairy sector.

He said the major problem was the strength of the pound and suggested the solution to agricultures current problems lay in farmers adding value to products.

  • The Herald 23/03/99 page 23