Rural Affairs Minister, Lesley Griffiths, has today welcomed the temporary suspension of competition laws to support the dairy sector during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The dairy sector has felt an immediate impact from the closure of the food services sector and the realignment of the supply chain and market prices.
The temporary easing of the competition laws, which applies across the whole of the UK, will enable greater collaboration so the dairy sector, including dairy farmers and processors, can work closer to solve the issues it is facing.
The temporary suspension of competition laws for dairy sector was one of the options the Rural Affairs Minister discussed with the Agricultural Resilience Group and a roundtable of key industry representatives this week.
The Minister said:
COVID-19 has had a significant impact on the food sector and its associated supply chains and one of the first sectors to feel the impact was our dairy sector.
“That is why I immediately wrote to the Secretary of State for the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, emphasising the need to collaborate as governments to use the powers available to us to protect the UK agri-food supply chain and mitigate against the severe disruption this crisis is causing to our producers and processors.
The relaxation of competition law for the sector is very welcome news and will enable the industry to work together on the immediate challenges they are facing as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic directly helping farm and processing businesses in Wales.
We will continue to work closely with all of our agricultural sectors to help them address the issues they face at this difficult time.