HC Deb 19 May 2004 vol 421 c975W
Mr. Laurence Robertson

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment she has made of the effect of decoupling on co-operative dairy farmers; and if she will make a statement. [173690]

Alun Michael

Decoupling will provide the basis for all farmers to improve the market orientation of their business and will free them from many of the bureaucratic rules associated with production linked subsidies. Decoupling has the potential to being considerable benefits to agriculture as a whole.

The scope for dairy farmers to realise these benefits as members of co-operatives is not inherently different from those that supply milk direct to processors.