Hansard: Oral Evidence taken before the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee on Tuesday 17 July 2012
Mansel Raymond, Pembrokeshire dairy farmer, Chairman, NFU Milk Board
Paul Kelly, Director, External Affairs, Asda Stores Ltd,
Mike Sheldon, Group Milk Procurement Director, Dairy Crest
Q12 Barry Gardiner: No, what you said earlier, with respect, is that you want the Government to intervene to set out some regulation that will make you able to negotiate better with the supermarkets. That does not seem to me to address the problem. That is a very narrow way of addressing the problem. Look, let’s go back-
Chair: Can we just moderate-?
Barry Gardiner: Okay. Let’s go back to 2006-07, Mr Raymond, when the average farm gate milk price was between 15p and 20p. The highest was 20p, in about October 2005. Then suddenly it hiked up to about 30p, and now we are talking about figures of about 25p. Yet, in 2006-07, in England, the average farm business income was £30,800. Today it is £84,000. Yet you are here saying that there is a huge problem. That is over a doubling of the average farm income for dairy farmers. How do you account for that?
This is selective use of statistics – Mr Gardiner will be contacted and sent two references:
-a link quoting the FG article: Howard Walsh, business editor of the Farmers Guardian, “Equalling the 1997 price is a step forward from a very low base – and still far from good enough”;
-and Howard Walsh again: UK Milk price lower in 2010 than in 1994: “In real terms the farmgate milk price in 2010 slipped 28% below the farmgate price of 1994. The retail price of milk in 2010 however, was broadly the same value in real terms as in 1994 but input costs have spiralled”.