15 November 2001
Milk co-op rebels vow to fight on

By John Burns, south-west England correspondent

MEMBERS of Milk Link have pledged to continue their campaign to amend the co-ops new rules, even though the National Farmers Union has axed legal assistance.

It was not too late for changes, even for those who have signed a new agreement or resigned, a meeting of Milk Link protestors at Honiton, Devon, was told this week.

But moves must be made “within days”, warned campign leader Philip Hosking.

The campaign was started by small-scale producers who were concerned that the rules discriminated against them.

Some farmers have discovered that when they give notice to resign from Milk Link, 0.5ppl is deducted throughout the notice period and retained permanently by the co-op.

Although the NFU had initially funded a legal opinion on the co-ops new rules and their implementation, it has decided not to fund further action.

Milk Link chairman Jeremy Pope has written to the rebels solicitor rejecting claims that the Board has “acted improperly”.

The new rules gave members better protection, he maintained.