Deadline looms for 'once in a generation' dairy consultation

NFU Scotland Milk Committee Chair Gary Mitchell says it is vital that farmers complete the consultation and have their voices heard
NFU Scotland Milk Committee Chair Gary Mitchell says it is vital that farmers complete the consultation and have their voices heard

Dairy farmers are being urged to complete a 'once in a generation' consultation on milk contracts, with less than two weeks to go until the deadline.

Farming unions have been calling for reform in milk contracts for some time, and the consultation is seen as the best opportunity for change in decades.

The UK government's consultation wants farmers' opinions on new legislation for milk contracts. The deadline is set for Tuesday 15 September.

Defra reports that the consultation is in response to concerns raised that primary producers, including dairy farmers, tend to occupy positions of relative market weakness in the food supply chain.



Consensus among agricultural producers in the UK is that unequal bargaining power with processors and retailers can expose farmers to unfair treatment, with the potential to undermine equitable price transmission along the chain.

NFU Scotland's Milk Committee Chair, Gary Mitchell said it was 'absolutely vital' for farmers to participate in the consultation.



“NFUS have proactively engaged with a large number of farmers, milk buyers and other stakeholders on this consultation," he said.

“Change is never an easy process, but if you as an individual are in control of the change, then not only is it more palatable, then the change can be to your advantage.

“For too long dairy farmers operate in a supply chain where there are too many external variables that can directly affect their bottom line, this is an opportunity to change that.”

The consultation can be accessed online on the government's website.