Farm gate milk price unsustainable
The MP who Chairs the Grocery Market Action Group and has campaigned for over a decade for the creation of a Supermarket Watchdog to protect farmers from “bully-boy” tactics will meet Government Ministers this week to discuss the strengthening of the Government’s plans to protect farmers from milk price volatility.
Over the past 14 years the number of dairy farmers in Cornwall alone has halved whilst production levels have remained broadly the same. But uncertainty remains and the risk of many more dairy farmers being put out of business is growing by the day.
Andrew George, MP for the West Cornwall and Isles of Scilly constituency of St Ives, said:
“The current situation is unsustainable. Of course, the Government cannot regulate or set prices, but the proposed Supermarket Watchdog (Grocery Adjudicator) should be empowered to take account of supplier contracts which respect the maintenance of an agreed farm gate price and to protect suppliers from short notice changes which make the contract unsustainable.”
Mr George will meet Business Minister, Norman Lamb MP, with representatives of the Grocery Market Action Group on Wednesday. They will discuss the progress of the Grocery Adjudicator Bill – a proposal which had come from the Grocery Market Action Group. The Bill has all party support and is an integral part of the Coalition Agreement.
Mr George will also attend a Westminster Diary ‘summit’ on Wednesday this week.
The Grocery Market Action Group members include: ActionAid, Association of Convenience Stores; Banana Link; British Brands Group; British Independent Fruit Growers’ Association; Campaign to Protect Rural England; Fairtrade Foundation; Food Ethics Council; Friends of the Earth; National Farmers’ Union, National Farmers’ Union of Scotland, Traidcraft and War on Want.
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