MP backs 'SOS dairy campaign' roadmap
South Lakes MP Tim Farron has backed a 10 point plan which is hoped to secure the long term future of the dairy industry.
It follows a meeting last Friday of the "Dairy Coalition" the NFU Warwickshire headquarters. Tim has written to Defra minister Jim Paice MP to ask him to step up his efforts to drive forward a voluntary code of practice for milk contracts which would give farmers greater security.
The 10 point plan says:
- Expose those whose damaging behaviour undermines the liquid milk market
- Work with milk buyer farmer representatives to ensure that representation is professional, independent and democratic, so that farmers' interests are protected
- Set out a roadmap to capture the maximum opportunity for Producer Organisations to rebalance the negotiating power within the milk supply chain and assist farmers wanting to set up POs or other collaborative organisations within the dairy sector
- Work to finalise the code of good practice for dairy contracts
- Develop a process to monitor and report on the implementation of the Code of Good Practice for Dairy Contracts, to ensure its earliest and complete adoption
- Encourage all milk buyers to develop their own appropriate and transparent milk procurement and pricing models that are equitable for all parties and cover farmers' production costs. The coalition does not seek to say what that model should be, but wants to see all milk buyers working to create their own models that deliver a fair and sustainable price for farmers
- Expose bad practice or non-compliance with the Code of Good Practice and irresponsible behaviour in the milk market by developing a whistle-blower mechanism for farmers
- Campaign to promote British cheese and other dairy products to consumers and to retailers, both in the domestic market and abroad.
- Work with DairyCo so farmers can utilise relevant market information published by DairyCo such as up-to-date global trends, league tables and dairy market predictions
- Prepare an ambitious strategy for theUKdairy industry's future without EU milk quotas, which takes full advantage of growing domestic and global demand for dairy products
Tim said: "Every farmer should receive a fair price for their milk - one which at least covers their costs to produce milk. I'm supporting the NFU's campaign in any way I possibly can and I will keep pressing the government for more action to protect dairy farmers."