liz truss

The launch of a European dairy futures market could be a step closer after environment secretary Liz Truss pledged to press her EU counterparts on the matter.

Speaking after a meeting between UK agriculture ministers and farming unions this week, Truss described current low dairy farmgate prices as a “serious situation”. The EU “have the means to help farmers manage this volatility and build resilience”.

She added she would “emphasise the need for a futures market and insurance for dairy products to give farmers long-term security over price” at a meeting of EU agriculture ministers on 7 September.

Truss was “calling for the right thing”, as long as it was “co-ordinated on a European scale” and given sufficient support, said dairy industry expert Hamish Renton. However, he warned a futures market alone would not be a panacea for the sector’s ills. “We’re kidding ourselves if we think this is the long-term answer to reducing volatility; the only way of doing that is if the UK and Europe export more.”