Worcestershire farmers heard the introduction of a groceries adjudicator would protect farmers and help to stop unfair demands being made of the industry.
Meurig Raymond, NFU Deputy President, said the Groceries Code Adjudicator would make an impact setting standards in the supply chain, between farmers and those they supply.
More than 50 farmers were at the YFC Centre, at Hawford, to hear the deputy president speak at Worcestershire NFU annual general meeting.
Members heard that while some retailers had taken steps to build stronger relationships with suppliers the pursuit of short-term financial performance often came at the expense of farmers and growers at the end of the line.
The adjudicator will monitor and enforce the Groceries Supply Chain Code of Practice, GSCOP.
Mr Raymond said: “There are some pretty big issues out there at the moment from bovine tuberculosis to the excessive weather through to dairy, feed prices, European legislation and reform.
“We have been lobbying for years though to get a Groceries Code Adjudicator in place to convince the supply chain of the importance of the GSCOP.
“For years retailers argued putting an adjudicator in was going to cause food inflation which it would not and it is about ensuring the supply chain abides by the code of conduct, it’s not about setting prices.
“Once they have signed that contract they know what is expected and big retailers can’t come back and make unfair demands on farmers.”
The Bill had its second reading in the House of Commons at the end of last year before being considered in committee and it is expected to complete its passage through Parliament soon.
At the meeting Mr Raymond also thanked county chairman Clive Davies for his work and other members who sit on NFU Council and the commodity boards who feed in views on behalf of Worcestershire farmers.
He said: “I can assure you that your views have been carried forward with panache to us as officeholders.
“Worcestershire as a county is very much on the map and your thoughts and concerns are fully recognised.”