Minister for Rural Affairs Elin Jones announces new appointment to support Welsh dairy farmers.

Published 7 July 09

Minister for Rural Affairs Elin Jones announces new appointment to support Welsh dairy farmers.

The Minister for Rural Affairs Elin Jones and DairyCo - the national levy board for the dairy industry - have announced that they are working in partnership to jointly fund a new high-level co-ordinator post to work on behalf of dairy farmers in Wales. The post, which will be advertised nationally shortly, will ensure that in future Welsh dairy farmers receive a seamless range of complementary support, assistance and strategic direction.

The Minister and Llandeilo farmer Tim Bennett, who chairs DairyCo, met this week (June 30) to formally sign an agreement which sets out how the Assembly Government's rural affairs department will work with DairyCo to provide the Welsh dairy industry with a first class support service.

The Minister referred to the significant benefits this new working partnership will provide dairy producers in Wales.

"I am delighted that my staff are going to be working in partnership with DairyCo. This is an excellent example of joining forces for the benefit of the industry - by pooling our resources in one well-managed and effective programme, we can provide an improved, more streamlined service for dairy farmers.

"By creating this new post - a Head of Dairy Development for Wales - we will be better able to co-ordinate all the objectives set by the Welsh Assembly Government's Farming Connect Dairy Development Programme under the auspices of the Agri-Food Partnership Dairy Strategy Group and the DairyCo Board," said the Minister.

Tim Bennett, who has been working towards this new collaboration with both the Welsh Assembly Government and key stakeholders in Wales in recent months, voiced his optimism for the future of Welsh dairy farmers, saying today,

"This partnership is an innovative way of working together to benefit Welsh dairy farmers. The collaboration between Welsh Assembly Government and DairyCo means we can significantly increase the resources available to Welsh dairy farmers to ensure they remain competitive and assist them in maintaining or increasing their margins."

Flintshire farmer Terrig Morgan, who chairs the Dairy Strategy Group for Wales, also welcomed the Minister's announcement emphasising the benefits of the new post, which will ensure the coordination of all the 'on the ground' activities and pro-active liaison between dairy farmers, Farming Connect's Dairy Development Programme managed by Coleg Sir Gar and DairyCo support.

"The creation of this new post within a new management structure for running and promoting the support available to the dairy industry in Wales gives us a much needed opportunity to ensure a more strategic overview and operational delivery to Welsh dairy farmers.

"The ultimate beneficiaries will be dairy farmers themselves," said Mr. Morgan.

Note to editors:
For further information contact

Rebekah Tune
Welsh Assembly Government
Crickhowell House
Cardiff
029 2089 8491
Email:Rebekah.tune@wales.gsi.gov.uk