Scotland business

Scottish minister calls for European action over milk prices

Cows

Environment Secretary Richard Lochhead is to call for action at a European level to help dairy farmers who have been hit by falling milk prices.

Mr Lochhead will discuss the issue at a meeting of the Council of Ministers in Brussels.

The price of a two-litre carton of milk has dropped to £1 in many supermarkets.

Last month, the Scottish Parliament's rural affairs committee launched an urgent inquiry into the milk pricing crisis.

Mr Lochhead said it was "crucial" to discuss what could be done at a European level to support farmers and protect the dairy industry.

He said: "Dairy farmers in Scotland are facing a real struggle due to the fall in the price of milk. I met farmers across Scotland last week and it is clear they are worried for their future.

"This is especially true in some of our remote and island communities, where dairy farming plays a key role in our wider economy and where this issue could have serious consequences reaching beyond the farm gate.

"We also know that this is a problem affecting farmers in many countries across the EU.

"That is why it is crucial that we consider what can be done at a European level to support farmers, protect our dairy industry and safeguard its contribution to our economy and natural larder.

"I hope we can agree on action across Europe that helps to give our dairy industry a brighter future."

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