THIS WEEK marked the closure of Defra’s 12-week long consultation on contractual relationships in the UK dairy industry.
Over the past three months, the dairy industry have been urged to feed in responses to the consultation following concerns that primary producers tend to occupy positions of relative market weakness in the food supply chain.
NFU Scotland’s milk committee chair, Gary Mitchell played a huge part in encouraging the sector to take part in the process – which he referred to as a ‘once in a lifetime opportunity’:
Speaking after the closing date he took the opportunity to thanks those who responded to the Unions call: “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,
According to Mr Mitchell the easy part is now out of the way and the ‘hard work’ will begin when they hear the outcome from Defra.
“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,” he continued.
“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,” he concluded.