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Agriculture Ministers Discuss Dairy Industry Situation

23 July 2012

UK - Farm minister Jim Paice will hold emergency talks with dairy processors and industry leaders including the NFU in a bid to resolve the on-going milk crisis.

The meeting at the Royal Welsh Show in Builth Wells comes after a fourth night of protests over prices which saw dairies blockaded by hundreds of farmers in Somerset and the West Midlands.

Dairy UK, the trade body for milk processing firms, will be among attendees.

Mr Paice is understood to have consulted with Welsh deputy farming minister, Alun Davies, and Scottish rural affairs secretary, Richard Lochhead, ahead of the meeting.

Ministers Jim Paice, Alun Davies and Richard Lochhead agreed that:

  • A code of practice on milk contracts is in the interest of the whole industry at this stage; Ministers urge the industry to reach rapid agreement, with effectiveness of the code to be subject to review within a year;
  • Jim Paice will raise within UK Government the possibility of a role for the Grocery Code Adjudicator in providing a means of arbitration for any code;
  • Producer Organisations are key to addressing the current imbalance in the market place in the longer term.

On Saturday, Morrisons announced it will increase the premium it pays on milk to farmers and will also introduce support payments for farmers affected by the current bad weather.

The Co-operative group moved on its prices on Friday.

Further Reading

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