16 November 2001

Milk Link members to fight on

MEMBERS of Milk Link have pledged to continue their campaign to amend the co-ops new rules despite an NFU decision to axe legal assistance.

It was not too late for changes, even for those who have signed a new agreement or resigned, a meeting of protestors at Honiton, Devon was told on Tue, Nov 13. But moves must be made "within days", said Philip Hosking, campaign leader and Small Farms Association chairman.

The campaign was started by small-scale producers who worried the rules discriminated against them. Some farmers have discovered that when they give notice to resign from Milk Link, 0.5p/litre 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 Ursula Bagnall, a solicitor representing the campaigners rejecting claims that the Board has "acted improperly". The new rules gave members better protection, he maintained. &#42