Deputy Minister for Agriculture Alun Davies has announced the Welsh Government's 'plan for milk'. Speaking before a question and answer session with famers at the Royal Welsh Show, he said a formal producers' organisation could strengthen farmers' hand in milk price negotiations. He called for UK government action to enforce the code of conduct agreed at Llanelwedd on Monday but repeated that he will also publish draft legislalion for Wales that could be enacted if necessary,
I will also be seeking further substantive discussions with the industry with a view to strengthening the position of farmers in the supply chain, including considering the introduction of formal producer organisations in Wales. I will be consulting on possible options in the autumn. I am well aware that the recent proposed cuts in the price paid for milk have come in parallel with substantially increased input costs for many parts of agriculture, not least the dairy sector. The Welsh Government’s Farming Connect programme has been very popular with farmers and can provide easy-to-access and bespoke advice on how to cut costs and increase profitability. We will now be introducing tailored components into Farming Connect’s work to offer Welsh dairy farmers targeted advice on how to cut their costs of production. I am also conscious that improvements in the sustainability of the dairy industry need to be underpinned by responsible behaviour by retailers and other ‘downstream’ parties in the supply chain. Here at the Royal Welsh Show I have been meeting with the multiple retailers to emphasise this point; over the course of the coming weeks and months I will be taking a similar message to representatives of other milk retailers based in Wales, including those in the discount sectors of the market.