Local MP Steve Webb has welcomed the new dairy code which will protect dairy farmers from unfair price drops.

Earlier this year, many local people contacted Steve Webb MP after processors suddenly cut prices paid to farmers for their milk. Steve wrote to the Environment Secretary urging her to take urgent action to protect farmers. Following months of negotiations between the NFU, farming representative and industry leaders, a new code of practice has been signed off.

 The code, which will affect the majority of contracts, gives farmers 30 days notice of any changes in price, and three months to cancel their contracts with producers if they do not agree with the terms. It also aims to strengthen the relationship between processors and producers by encouraging processors to engage with farming representatives. This immediate practical action for farmers comes alongside the Government’s plans to establish a Grocery Codes Adjudicator. The Adjudicator will act as a watchdog for farmers, ensuring that farmers receive a fair price for their produce from supermarkets in the long term.

Commenting, Steve said:  

"This new code is an important step on the way to getting a fair deal for our farmers. For too long, farmers have been at the mercy of large supermarkets cutting prices well below the price of production. Along with the Grocery Codes Adjudicator, this initiative will make sure that farmers are no longer held hostage to unpredictable and completely unjust prices.

I am glad that the Government is taking strong action to rebalance the relationship between food producers and processors. Restoring this relationship is vital not just for farmers now who are struggling to make ends meet, but for the long term sustainability of our farming industry as a whole.  It is also something that I know many consumers want to see”