THE Dairy Coalition which was put together to fight cuts to the milk price has agreed a new strategy that members believe will help make the UK market more sustainable.
The coalition, made up from NFU, NFU Cymru, NFU Scotland, FFA, TFA, WFU and the RABDF, has put together a 10-point plan to build a ‘fair and functioning’ marketplace.
It will focus on three key areas – exposing bad practices, redefining and empowering the farmers’ role in the supply chain and ensuring the supply chain is transparent and fair.
The Coalition has also brought cheese into its campaign and is calling for own-label supermarket cheese to be British.
NFU dairy board chairman Mansel Raymond said: “The first priority of the Dairy Coalition of organisations is to see a fair and functioning marketplace for the UK dairy industry.
“We firmly believe that all farmers should receive a fair and sustainable milk price; one which at least covers their costs to produce milk. This is the only way we will be able to ensure shoppers have the choice of British dairy products on supermarket shelves. What is very clear is that the dairy market has failed. Market highs have not been passed down to the farm gate. We need to have every part of the dairy market working to capture present and future market opportunities both here and abroad.”
The 10 points of the plan are:
Expose those whose damaging behaviour undermines the milk market.
Work with milk buyer farmer representatives to ensure representation is professional, independent and democratic.
Set out a roadmap to capture the maximum opportunity for Producer Organisations to rebalance the negotiating power within the milk supply chain.
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.
Encourage all milk buyers to develop their own transparent milk procurement and pricing models that are equitable for all parties and cover farmers’ production costs.
Expose bad 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 the UK dairy industry’s future without EU milk quotas, which takes full advantage of growing domestic and global demand for dairy products.