UFU respond to EU Dairy Package Consultation

The Ulster Farmers’ Union has recently submitted its response to the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development’s consultation on the implementation of the EU Dairy Package.  The consultation included two mandatory parts; the recognition of Producer Organisations and the requirement for the collection and reporting of volume data of milk purchases from farms.  

UFU Dairy Chairman Andrew Addison said; “The EU Dairy Package has been nearly 4 years in the making and came about as a direct result of the milk price collapse of 2008/09. The Package has the potential to address the imbalance of bargaining power between the farmer and the first purchaser of milk which is greatly needed in the local dairy industry.”

Andrew continued; “The requirement for first purchasers of milk to record volume data will be even more crucial once the quota is abolished in 2015 and the UFU will continue to monitor the situation as specific detail has yet to be decided by the EU.  In our response to the consultation we have put forward a number of suggestions regarding the content and what information needs to be included.” 

Mr Addison added; “In addition to this, there is a discretionary part covering the introduction of compulsory written contracts. This part of the proposal will remain as long as the Voluntary Code of Practice, (agreed by the UFU and Dairy UK NI at the end of last year) is fully implemented by the whole dairy sector.  Therefore, we are urging all processors to adopt the Code in its entirety for the good of the Northern Ireland dairy industry. An integral part of the Code is work which is to be carried out on the Good Corporate Governance of Co-ops. This will provide a necessary blue-print in taking the dairy industry forward with the hope of creating a level playing field and a sustainable future for all dairy farmers.”