Milk committee chair says: ‘Hard work starts now”
Defra’s 12-week long consultation on “Contractual relationships in the UK dairy industry” closed last night. This consultation was in response to concerns raised that primary producers, including dairy farmers, tend to occupy positions of relative market weakness in the food supply chain.
NFU Scotland’s Milk Committee Chair, Gary Mitchell said: “The consultation period was an exceptionally a busy time for NFUS. We welcome the engagement we have had with Scottish dairy farmers on this important issue and submitting responses was the easy part of this whole process.
“The hard work will begin when we hear the outcome from Defra and then we can start to plan the building blocks for the future.
“We understand that Defra will use the rest of 2020 to collate and distil all the responses they have received. We look forward to hearing the outcome of this process so NFUS can engage in the next step.
“For at least two years now, we have been actively talking to all parts of the dairy supply chain on this topic and I would like to take this opportunity to thank all the farmers and industry stakeholders that interacted with NFUS during this consultation process and, in turn, offered feedback to Defra. It was important that our voices were heard.
“NFUS believes the introduction of well-considered, appropriate legislation regarding dairy contracts between dairy farmers and milk buyers is essential and this was stressed in our response to Defra.
“This will create the foundations of a modern, thriving industry based on contracts that are agreed, not imposed, through free and equal negotiation and in good faith for the benefit of all in the supply chain.
“COVID 19 and Brexit are only two of the challenges facing us at the current time, and it is essential that all sectors in the dairy supply chain are best equipped to meet these challenges head on.”