Need for Urgent Action Agreed at Farming Summit

Monday, 17 August, 2015

Farming union leaders have held a meeting in London (August 17) to discuss the current problems with the supply chain, and future sustainability of the agricultural sector.  There was recognition that this is not just a crisis in the dairy sector but is impacting most farmers across the board with the lamb sector also being particularly hard hit.

Commenting after the meeting UFU president, Ian Marshall said: “There was agreement from both the agriculture ministers and the presidents of the four UK farming unions that the situation facing farmers needs urgent collective action and that the issue of sustainability needs addressed.”

Currently the supply chain is not working and a long term solution to these problems is needed. There was an agreement from all involved today, to work together on a list of demands and actions to put to retailers to seek commitment from them on their sourcing, labelling and promotion of local produce.

At the meeting Mr Marshall again underlined the need for government to press the European Commission to review the intervention price for dairy products. “It was also agreed to collectively put forward a list of demands, ahead of the emergency EU farming summit on 7 September, to the European Commission that could help farmers deal with the extreme volatility facing all enterprises,” he said.   

A series of actions were agreed which retailers and the food service sector should commit to urgently. These include; clearer country of origin labelling; clarity on sourcing policies; better, more consistent promotion of British food and, from the government, delivery of its public procurement food policy.