EU dairy contract plan ‘a missed opportunity’

Moves by the European parliament to strengthen the hand of milk producers in their dealings with large-scale buyers of milk may have been welcomed this week by the politicians but farming leaders were less enthusiastic.

The chief dairy adviser for the NFU of England and Wales, Rob Newbury, described the package prepared by the parliament as a “golden opportunity missed” and only “leaving it very much as the status quo”.

He said the only part which gave any hope of a better relationship between producers and milk buyers was the one which gave more power to producer organisations. This avenue had to be explored further he said. Newbury regretted that, despite considerable time having been spent negotiating for common contract rules throughout Europe, these had not emerged in the final package.