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Northern Ireland Welcomes Dairy Industry Voluntary Code of Practice

31 October 2012

NORTHERN IRELAND, UK - The Northern Irish dairy industry has welcomed an agreement made for the voluntary Code of Practice for Northern Ireland between Dairy UK (NI) and the Ulster Farmers’ Union (UFU).

The aim of the voluntary Code is to set out good practice for contracts between producers and purchasers, says the Northern Ireland Executive.

Commenting on the Northern Ireland document, Dairy UK (NI) Director Dr Mike Johnston said: “Agreement of this voluntary Code of Practice for NI means that an important element of the EU Dairy Package, namely contractual relationships between suppliers and purchasers of milk, has now been addressed within the UK as a whole. And just as important, it has been achieved by the dairy supply chain working on a co-operative, voluntary basis rather than through a legislative approach by Government.”

Speaking on behalf of the UFU, Deputy President Ian Marshall said: “This is a first yet significant step for the Northern Ireland Dairy Industry. By setting out good practice for contracts between producers and processors, the Voluntary Code aims to improve trust and transparency between producers and processors. The expectation is that the Voluntary Code will work alongside the recommendations of Agri-Food Strategy Board, ensuring that our dairy industry is able to adapt and grow whilst meeting the challenges ahead.”

Agriculture Minister Michelle O'Neill said: “I am pleased to learn that the Ulster Farmers’ Union (UFU) and Dairy UK (NI) have agreed a voluntary Code of Practice for contractual relationships between suppliers and purchasers of milk in the north. A similar Code was agreed recently in Britain but given the differences between the dairy supply chains in Britain and the north, our industry felt it was necessary to develop a Code that would take those differences into account.

“I welcome the development of this industry Code, which is a positive step forward as part of the outworking of the EU Dairy Package. I believe that good relations between producers and processors are vital for the future good of the dairy industry. I also welcome the UFU’s expectation that this Code will work alongside the recommendations of the Agri-Food Strategy Board, ensuring that the dairy industry is able to adapt and grow whilst meeting the challenges ahead."

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