Board chair welcomes dairy contract announcement

18 July 2023

A man in a shirt standing in front of a hedge

Stephen Dark

NFU South West regional dairy board chair Stephen Dark has welcomed the announcement that dairy contract legislation that will help ensure fairness across the supply chain should be brought into law later this year.

The government has said that the regulations will come into force later this year. They will enable farmers to challenge prices, prevent changes being made to contracts without farmers’ agreement, and make it easier for farmers to raise concerns.

Mr Dark, who farms in Cornwall, said the news had been well received across the industry.

More transparency and fairness

“Once in place, the legislation will help to give more transparency and fairness to the primary producer throughout the supply chain,” he said.

“Milk prices, as we have seen recently, are still going to be volatile and at the mercy of the balance of supply and demand, particularly domestically, with global prices and production continuing to influence returns to the farmgate.

“The development and promotion of new dairy products and export opportunities are crucial for a prosperous and more resilient dairy sector alongside on-farm efficiencies and sustainability credentials.”

“A key milestone”

Defra Minister Mark Spencer said: “Farmers must be paid a fair price for their produce and these regulations will provide price certainty and stability for farmers by establishing written milk purchase agreements with clear and unambiguous terms.

“This represents a key milestone in our commitment to promote fairness and transparency across food supply chains to support farmers and build a stronger future for the industry and will be followed by reviews into the egg and horticulture sector supply chains this autumn.”

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