Blog: Dairy code of practice welcomed by industry
Michelle Russell | 4 October 2012
UK dairy processors and farmers welcomed the final seal of approval of the dairy code of practice this week aimed at ensuring fairer contracts for dairy farmers.
Industry leaders agreed to the voluntary code at the end of August following months of talks with processors and farmers' representatives. The document is designed to ensure balance in contractual terms for all parties.
A tentative "heads of agreement" on a voluntary code of practice was agreed in July after talks with the UK government. The discussions were held amid anger from farmers at cuts to the price of milk from the UK's largest processors.
As a result, a formal agreement between Dairy UK, the NFU and the NFUS on the voluntary code of best practice on contractual relationships between milk buyers and dairy farmers was confirmed early last month.
The NFU, which has championed the need for improving dairy contracts said it was "delighted" the initiative is now ready to use.
"We're very pleased that at long last there is light at the end of the tunnel so we can move forward with the industry on a robust and ambitious strategy for the dairy sector," said NFU dairy board chairman Mansel Raymond.
"We will now be pressing ahead with a number of briefings up and down the country so dairy farmers and processors can see the many beneficial terms of this code translated into beneficial terms in milk supply contracts."
The code means farmers must now be given 30 days notice of change to prices or other contractual terms, allowing them to exit contracts with a month's notice if they disagree with the alterations. It encourages processors to engage more with producers and their representatives over changes.
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