Bishop of St Albans- Child Marriage and Food Security (Written Answer)

On 21st January 2015, the Bishop of St Albans, the Rt Revd Alan Smith, received answers to written questions on the subject of milk production sustainability and data collection on child marriage.

Bishop of St AlbansThe Lord Bishop of St Albans: To ask Her Majesty’s Government what steps they are taking to ensure the long term sustainability of milk production in the United Kingdom. [HL3994]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Lord De Mauley): The Government understands the concerns of British farmers over the current pressures on milk prices caused by the volatility of the global market. We want a competitive and resilient dairy industry that can take advantage of opportunities.

We will continue to work closely with the dairy industry as a whole to manage price volatility. At last week’s farming resilience summit George Eustice discussed ways of offering support to address the problems of severe market volatility with the NFU, high street banks, and farming industry experts.

It is important to remember that the long-term prospects are bright with exports at record levels. We are helping the dairy industry to take advantage of opportunities such as opening new export markets. The £141 million Countryside Productivity Scheme will include measures to help dairy farmers. We are pushing for better country of origin labelling for British dairy products.

The Lord Bishop of St Albans: To ask Her Majesty’s Government what steps they are taking with supermarkets, processors and dairy farmers to ensure that the price paid for milk reflects the costs of production.[HL3995]

Lord De Mauley: All operators in the supply chain should receive a fair price for their goods. We regularly bring together supermarkets, processors and farmers through the Dairy Supply Chain Forum to discuss issues such as collaboration, risk management and market volatility. At the Farming Resilience summit on 14 January, George Eustice discussed with the NFU and a range of industry bodies how to help manage volatility such as through the creation of a futures market.



The Lord Bishop of St Albans: To ask Her Majesty’s Government how many girls under the legal age of marriage but who had been married abroad were brought back to the United Kingdom in 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013. [HL3909]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord Bates) (Con): The UK is a world leader in tackling forced marriage. It is child abuse, domestic abuse and a form of violence against women and men and a serious abuse of human rights.

The government does not hold data on the number of girls under the legal age of marriage who have been brought back to the UK. However, the government does hold information on the number of cases for which the forced marriage unit has provided advice and support. This information is in the table below. It is important to note that this statistic does not represent the number of forced marriage cases, but the number of calls and emails initiating contact with the Forced Marriage Unit (FMU) about a victim or potential victim. Forced marriage cases are not necessarily reported to the FMU; through the unit’s outreach work, social workers and the police are becoming more skilled at dealing with forced marriage cases and so may not need to involve the unit. Where a case is being appropriately dealt with there is no obligation to inform the FMU.

To provide more information on the nature of the assistance provided in all these cases, including those which have involved repatriation, would involve a disproportionate cost.

Forced marriage unit statistics
Year Number of cases in which the Forced Marriage Unit provided advice or support related to a possible forced marriage
2009 1,682
2010 1,735
2011 1,468
2012 1,485
2013 1,302

2014 figures are currently being compiled.


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