Politicians meet Fane Valley over 
ongoing dairy crisis

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Upper Bann DUP MP David Simpson and Newry & Armagh DUP MLA William Irwin have met with Fane Valley chief executive Trevor Lockhart to discuss the ongoing dairy crisis.

The pair described the meeting as useful and said it was important that all stakeholders in the industry played a part in moving the industry to a more sustainable position.

Mr Simpson stated, “This was a constructive meeting and both William and I discussed the current difficulties facing the dairy sector with Mr Lockhart at 
length.

“The message we are getting from dairy farmers is one of concern at the deepening crisis and the instability that is plaguing the sector by prohibiting growth.

“Farmers are continuing to operate at below the cost of production, something which is just not sustainable.

“While there are encouraging signs from the Global Diary Trade Auction in recent weeks we must recognise that these rises are from a very low base and it unfortunately will be some time before we reach farm gate prices which cover the cost of production.”

He added, “Mr Lockhart took on board and indeed agreed with many of our concerns and as Fane Valley is a processor I feel they, along with others of course, have a significant part to play in looking at the longer term direction of the industry and working towards sustainability.

“I would encourage processors and farmers to look at ways to reduce the impact of global volatility in milk prices and production.”