Ceredigion’s local Plaid Cymru AM Elin Jones has met with directors of the dairy co-operative Llaeth Cymreig to discuss the continuing problems in the milk industry.

Farmers continue to receive very low prices for milk. The latest DEFRA figures show that prices have fallen again, to 24.25 pence per litre on average, with many dairy farmers receiving even less. This represents a 25% fall since the same period last year, due to a wide range of factors including international tension in Ukraine, problems in the Chinese market and overproduction in some countries following the end of quotas.

Based in Capel Dewi near Llandysul, Llaeth Cymreig is a co-operative which buys milk from 90 dairy farms in south Ceredigion, north Pembrokeshire and Carmarthenshire. It sells to high-quality independent cheese producers and other dairy processing firms on the open market.

Elin Jones, Plaid Cymru’s local AM for Ceredigion, said: "I’m keen to get up-to-date and in-depth information on the crisis facing the dairy economy, from everyone involved in the industry. It was great, therefore, to speak to Huw and Jaci from Llaeth Cymreig, who have a real insight into the structure of dairy farming and the problems we face.

“In this area we still have many small-scale family farms, which provide an important element of diversity in the dairy industry – it’s this type of farm which is often dependent on co-operative companies such as Llaeth Cymreig.

“The problems facing the industry are complex, and partly governed by international factors. But we must look for solutions which help our Welsh dairy industry to overcome this kind of price volatility. It should remain an important part of the rural economy in the long term.

“This will involve the Welsh Government being more pro-active in supporting dairy processors through the difficult times, and in marketing Welsh produce. We also need to educate consumers about the real price of producing quality milk, and put pressure on the supermarkets to deal fairly with farmers and dairy suppliers.”