SNP MSPs Joan McAlpine and Emma Harper have been heartened by new figures that have shown the resilience of the Scottish dairy farming industry in the face of challenging conditions for the sector.
The latest six-monthly figures to July 1st, published by the Scottish Dairy Cattle Association (SDCA), have shown the number of herds remaining at 974, despite a moderate decrease in cow numbers. The figures have been welcomed by the SDCA, who had expected both herd and cow numbers to fall.
Commenting on the statistics, Ms McAlpine said:
“These figures are of some encouragement, particularly because of the tough financial conditions that our dairy farmers are currently operating in.
“Despite these difficulties, our farmers have shown great resilience – and it is excellent to see that their hard work is being rewarded. The Scottish Government has been working hard to help farmers across Scotland, with the Dairy Action Plan continuing to benefit farm workers across the country by promoting best practice, developing markets, promoting an efficient supply chain, supporting First Milk and engaging with the international community.
Ms Harper added:
“As the daughter of a dairy farmer, I’m very aware of the challenges faced by farmers working hard to make their businesses work under difficult conditions. That’s why I am very pleased to hear this good news.
“By supporting the sector we can secure jobs and ensure we continue to produce the very best local products. With continued Scottish Government support, our farmers will be cheesing for a long time to come.”
Pictured: 1. Emma Harper visiting Littleton Farm in Castle Douglas 2. Joan McAlpine and Libby Hammond at Barony Campus