NORTH Cornwall MP Dan Rogerson has stood down as Chair of All Party Parliamentary Group for Cheese.
Mr Rogerson set-up the group with the help of the British Cheese Board following his election as local MP in 2005 and has served as its chairman until the announcement this week.
Despite standing down as chair of the group, due to “ministerial responsibilities”, Mr Rogerson will continue to work with the group to support the local dairy industry in North Cornwall.
Fellow Liberal Democrat Lord Jones of Cheltenham will take over as chair of the cross-party group, which includes MPs and member of the House of Lords from all parties.
Mr Rogerson, who is also Government Minister for Rural Affairs, addressed a meeting of Parliamentarians, government ministers, cheese makers and representatives from the dairy industry in the House of Commons yesterday.
During his speech he spoke about the importance of the dairy industry to jobs and the economy in North Cornwall, from farmers, small producers and cheese makers to the expanding Dairy Crest site at Davidstow.
He said: “The All Party Cheese Group does a fantastic job of bringing together politicians, cheese makers and those involved in the dairy sector to discuss how we can work together to promote and support this important industry that is such an integral part of the economy in rural areas like Cornwall.
“I spoke with representatives from Dairy Crest about their plans to expand the Davidstow Creamery and create more jobs in our area, about the need to support talented local cheese makers, and to promote Cornish and British dairy products both at home and around the world.”
Chief Executive of Dairy UK, Dr Judith Bryans said the dairy sector is working with politicians to support the industry and help educate consumers about the unique contribution that cheese and other dairy products make to health, the economy, and the environment.
“Dairy makes a difference as a major industry employing around 25,000 people in the processing and manufacturing sectors, with many thousands more involved with dairy farming,” Dr Bryans said.
“Dairy also makes a difference by providing a wide range of nutritious foods and as an environmentally responsible industry which is committed to sustainability.”