Milk contracts likened to “surrender documents”

Milk contracts are little better than “surrender documents” which farmers have no choice to sign, according to NFU south-west dairy board chairman, Martin Whell.

Speaking ahead of a visit by senior NFU representatives to a meeting of farmers in Dorset this week, he urged all dairy farmers to carry out a “health check” of their milk contracts to identify deficiencies.

If as many farmers as possible carry out such a review of contracts and confront their milk buyers about their main concerns, it will be harder for purchasers to avoid improving their terms, he said.

“Processors have to wake up to the fact that it is important for them to invest appropriately to safeguard their supply chains,” said Mr Whell.

“There is no rhyme or reason in the current marketplace why most still appear to be dragging their feet in doing so, or they will see supplies drying up with no way of turning the tap back on.”