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Geoffrey Cox welcomes Conservative demand for action on milk prices

Geoffrey Cox, Conservative Parliamentary Spokesman for West Devon and Torridge, this week welcomed the Conservative demand for urgent practical action to help the Dairy Industry after a recent report from the Milk Development Council showed that farm-gate prices were continuing to drop in proportion to the prices charged in the Supermarkets.

Geoffrey Cox said: “The  average dairy farmer in the South West earns just £2.90 an hour for a 70 hour week. Last week in parliament, the Conservative Shadow Minister for Agriculture, James Gray demanded urgent action from the government to encourage fairer distribution of the price of milk by supporting and encouraging farmers’ co-operatives and toughening up the Supermarket Code of Practice.”

He continued: “If we don’t see some real action soon, the Dairy industry, long synonymous with Devon will continue to dwindle. It’s time we got tough and showed that the British government truly believed in farming in the South West.”


1.  James Gray moved the following motion in the House last week.

EDM 231
        DAIRY FARMING IN THE SOUTH WEST 30.11.04      

        That this House notes with concern the recent Milk Development Council Report highlighting the drop in farmgate prices for milk while supermarket margins on milk have increased significantly; recognises the pressure this is putting on farmers in the South West; is concerned that the average dairy farmer earns just £2.90 an hour for a 70-hour week; and calls on the Government to toughen up the Supermarket Code of Practice and do more to encourage farmers' cooperatives to ensure a fair and equitable distribution of the retail price of milk.    

7th December 2004

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