Orkney and Shetland MP, Alistair Carmichael, has welcomed the announcement of a £1 million promotional campaign led by the UK dairy sector to encourage shoppers to buy more milk and dairy products. Mr Carmichael noted the need for further support for the dairy industry during a period of significant upheaval, due to the closure of hospitality outlets and vital export markets. More than half of UK farmers have had their milk price cut due to the disruption.
Mr Carmichael said:
“It is good to see the dairy industry taking the initiative here but this does not let our governments off the hook. They need to do more. With restaurants closed and orders from vital export markets down, our dairy farmers need help to keep going. They face challenges that cannot be papered over through programmes of worker support. You cannot furlough a dairy cow. The costs of feeding and milking continue regardless. In other sectors you can put production into hibernation until the markets re-open. You can't do that for dairy products."
“The farming minister has just announced new funding to support dairy farmers in England due to the current crisis. I hope that all authorities will act where they can to mitigate the impact. There are roles here for the UK and Scottish Governments and for our local councils. They all need to step up to the plate.
“Dairy farmers in Orkney worked hard to establish a brand recognised as being a high-quality product. If we do not support them during these challenging times then we risk that work being wasted."