UK dairy producers call for arbitrator

Related tags British dairy farmers Supermarket

The debate over UK milk pricing and supermarket market dominance,
has long been an issue for farmers in the industry. Following the
Environment, Food and Rural Affairs select committee meeting this
month, dairy producers are now calling for independent arbitrators
to ensure a fairer market place.

Producer representatives have said that the voluntary code of practice that is designed to govern supermarket power is not working when it comes to milk pricing. Farmers claim that farm co-operatives are prevented from exerting enough influence.

In the UK supermarkets have not been returning profits down the supply chain to the farmers that produce the milk. The Farmers for Action group, a pressure group that has been fighting for fairer milk prices, among others has been demanding that farmers gain fairer prices for the milk they produce.

The Royal Association of British Dairy Farmers (RABDF) the nation's only independent organisation that represents the interests of British dairy farmers, claims that it is the power imbalance between producers and supermarkets that has meant that retailers can not return their profits to the farmers.

Tim Brigstocke, the group's chairman told a Scotsman reporter:"Its difficult to create any improvement in this imbalance without some form of direct farmer action, such as we have done in the past."

However, some government action has been taken and the group claims that the Dairy Supply chain Forum set up by the Food Minister, Lord Whitty is beginning to help the industry.

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