Plaid call for Milk and Supermarket Ombudsman

Plaid Cymru has stepped up calls for a milk and supermarket ombudsman to help dairy farmers ensure a fair price for their pint of milk. The party has been campaigning on this issue for some time and has put forward a motion in Westminster backing the findings of a recent Competition Commission report.

Adam Price MP said:

“There is little doubt that the dairy industry faces some very severe challenges. Ten dairy production farms per week have closed in England and Wales in the last five years. This is in contrast to the supermarket industry which has grown to encompass 75% of grocery sales within just four major companies who have a stranglehold on the market. It is vital that this imbalance is addressed and as a matter of urgency.”

Rhodri Glyn Thomas AM added:

“Many farmers are not receiving cost price for their products, which are recognised as being of top quality. Positive action is needed to ensure that this haemorrhaging from the dairy industry is stopped. The industry has sadly operated with very little protection for too long and an ombudsman with real power would ensure fair play for our farmers.”

Plaid‘s Westminster candidate Jonathan Edwards said:

“This is a hugely significant industry for Wales and plays an important role in our local economy in Carmarthenshire. I am fully supportive of the campaign to establish an ombudsman; something I believe is long overdue.”

Nodiadau / Notes:

Early Day Motion put forward by the Plaid group in Westminster


That this House welcomes the announcement of the introduction of a supermarket ombudsman as called for by the Competition Commission report of August 2009; notes that 75 per cent. of UK grocery sales are from supermarkets; further notes that the amount of money that dairy farmers receive for their milk from the supermarkets often does not cover the cost of production; also notes that the price farmers get for a pint of milk has fallen in real terms whilst their costs of producing milk continue to increase, and that England and Wales are losing 10 dairy production holdings a week; believes that this is putting the Welsh dairy industry at risk as well as the viability and sustainability of Wales’ rural communities, including the care of the countryside and wildlife; and calls for the supermarket ombudsman to be formed as soon as practicable and for its responsibility to include ensuring a fair price and a fair and level playing field for dairy farmers against the purchasing power and market share of supermarkets.

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