Dairy farmers urged to enter key discussion

The union is hosting a series of meetings for dairy farmers.
The union is hosting a series of meetings for dairy farmers.

NFU Scotland (NFUS) is hosting a series of dairy farmer meetings next week ahead of the launch of a government consultation into the future of milk contracts.

The union said the consultation, which will look into the regulation of contracts between dairy farmers and processors, offered a “once in a generation opportunity” to revamp the dairy sector.

“This is the start of the most important conversation with dairy farmers and other stakeholders in a quarter of a century,” said NFUS vice-president Martin Kennedy.

He said NFUS and its counterparts south of the border wanted to work with farmers, processors and retailers to develop the type of relationships which will drive fairness, efficiency and competitiveness in the UK dairy sector.

“The voluntary code on milk contracts, agreed in 2012, covering dairy contracts, has disappointingly fallen short of expectations and government now sees a need for some form of statutory requirement to secure more equitable, progressive dairy contracts between farmer and processor,” added Mr Kennedy.

“These seminars are the beginning of an ongoing discussion to agree what an effective milk contract should cover and how this is agreed.

“I urge every dairy farmer in Scotland, where possible, to get involved and feed in their views. It’s your dairy industry and it’s your future.”

The seminars will be led by experts from NFUS, NFU England and Wales, the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) and the Scottish Government.

Meetings include an event for farmers in the north on Wednesday July 3, from 7-9pm, at the Glen Garioch Room in the Thainstone Centre, near Inverurie.

Any farmers or stakeholders wishing to attend are asked to book a place in advance by contacting NFUS on 0131 472 4000 or info@nfus.org.uk.