‘Brexit could pave the way for a new approach to the problem of price volatility’

Brexit could pave the way for a new approach to the problem of price volatility, the Ulster Farmers’ Union (UFU) Dairy Chairman, William Irvine, has said.

He was speaking following a meeting with the Scottish, English and Welsh farm unions who all agreed that Brexit could create opportunities for the dairy sector to tackle key problems.

Irvine also said it could drive the introduction of a radical approach to managing risk.

“The signs are that milk prices are at last beginning to rise, but volatility is here to stay. Our industry needs to make sure it is better equipped to manage the risks to stability that brings.

“We agreed that the strongest case for action will be made if the industry works together, via the four UK farm unions,” Irvine said.

Currently, the UFU is preparing a document looking at the options for managing risk, which is a follow on from the conference held a few months ago with Dairy UK, which looked at how other countries did this, and how their ideas could be applied here and elsewhere in the UK.

“The challenge now is to take this to the next stage. This can be only done by engaging with other industry organisations and commercial risk management specialists.

“Our aim is to develop an approach to managing risk which farmers and processors can both use to their advantage,” he said.