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Tim asks farmers to let him know their views about new dairy code

October 5, 2012 1:38 PM

TF ruralSouth Lakes MP Tim Farron is asking local farmers to get in touch with him and let him know their concerns or issues that have been come out of the newly signed dairy voluntary code.

Industry leaders, NFU and others agreed the final details of the voluntary code on Wednesday following months of talks. The document is designed to ensure balance in contractual terms for all parties.

Key points of the voluntary code of conduct are:

  • · 30 days notice of change to a farmer's price or other contractual terms
  • · A farmer can terminate the contract with three months' notice if they disagree with a contractual change
  • · Encouragement for processors to engage with producers via democratically accountable and representative producer groups

Defra Minister David Heath will be coming to Cumbria next week to where Tim will meet with and put any questions or concerns raised by farmers about the code to the Minister. Tim will also ask for a commitment from the Government to giving the Supermarket Ombudsman 'reserve powers' that could be enacted and used if the voluntary act does not support farmers and consumers.

Tim said: "I want to hear from farmers about their views of the voluntary code and how it is affecting them on the ground.Just a couple of days into the new code I'm already hearing from farmers who have told me that they have seen changes in behaviour from the supermarkets and middle men. I want to make sure this is seen across the board. I will fight tooth and nail for local farmers and the more information they can give me the stronger my voice will be."