19 May 2000

FFA/NFUare still apart…

FARMERS For Action representatives emerged disappointed but vowing to continue representing their members after a meeting with senior NFU officials at the unions London headquarters.

The FFA had travelled to London hoping that bridges could be built and their strengths used in partnership with the NFU.

But the FFA group emerged from the meeting "totally disappointed". Spokesman Dave Handley said: "They werent prepared to talk about the things we wanted to talk about – such as buying Dairy Crest. We thought we were going there to build a relationship to work alongside them. Their overall attitude is unbelievable."

After the meeting NFU president Ben Gill told FARMERS WEEKLY that it had been "businesslike" "We went through an analysis of the key issues facing our industry. There is a clear need to deliver a fair share of the retail price to the farmer and the best way to do this is to stick together."

"Of the 9p fall in the milk price, 5p is due to the strength of Sterling but the remaining 4p is due to our weak marketing position," said Mr Gill. "The only way to redress this is to put our differences aside, as our European competitors have done so successfully."

and work together to push pressure up from the farm gate and take a stronger position in the marketplace."

Farmers for Action representatives (left to right), Andrew Scott, Rhys Parry, John Pratt, Dave Handley and Derek Mead.