Royal Highland Show 2012: Cracking code vital for milk producers
Scottish milk producers are still waiting on the voluntary code of practice which is intended to provide more equality in financial reward and less volatility in the supply chain, writes Andrew Arbuckle.
Currently the balance between risk and reward in milk production was not evenly shared, with producers carrying the greater burden, according to Allan Bowie, NFU Scotland vice-president.
Speaking at the Royal Highland Show, he expressed his frustration at the “intransigence” of several big milk processors in holding up an agreement.
Bowie said the full potential of the Scottish milk industry would only be realised when quotas were removed, offering opportunities both at home and abroad, especially if the whole industry had a more equable share of the profits.
The voluntary code of practice was vital to any future expansion. He described its delivery as being at a “critical juncture” with a lot of work to be undertaken to bring it to fruition.
Also at the show, UK farm minister, Jim Paice said he was disappointed the code had not yet been agreed. While he has the power to introduce a compulsory code, he was reluctant to do so as that would be less flexible than the voluntary one.
The Scottish union also stated that it would continue to monitor the EU Dairy Package, which was suggested following a collapse of the liquid milk market in mainland Europe.
While it recognises the current milk supply chain does not work, its solution is more formal and potentially more bureaucratic with legislated compulsory contracts between suppliers and buyers.
However, Bowie said the union would continue to examine the proposal in great detail to ensure “no opportunity was missed.”
Search for a job
Search for a car
Search for a house
Weather for Edinburgh
Tuesday 18 June 2013
Temperature: 10 C to 21 C
Wind Speed: 9 mph
Wind direction: North
Temperature: 9 C to 18 C
Wind Speed: 16 mph
Wind direction: West