RABDF and Dairy UK go head to head in war of words

The chairman of the Royal Association of British Dairy Farmers has called for a National Dairy Body to “route map” the way forward for the dairy industry, and a milk market regulator.

Opening the annual Dairy Event at Stoneleigh, Warks, Mr Brigstocke said that the fact remains that there is still no national plan in place to guide the industry forward.

“In the view of the RABDF, until there is a clear strategy set out, things will not improve,” he said.

Mr Brigstocke said that there was a need for a truly active National Dairy Body made up of all sides to develop industry wide tactical and strategic plans.

He went on to add that “We had great hopes that Dairy UK, which has a strap line of the united voice of the dairy sector, would develop into such a body, but to date we see no evidence of it taking up the mantle.”

The RABDF chairman also claimed that there continues to be a need for much greater transparency throughout the chain and there needs to be more enlightening pricing mechanisms put in place.

David Curry, Dairy UK chairman reacted to the comments made by the RABDF and was angered at its proposals.

Mr Curry told Farmers Weekly that Dairy UK had not been consulted before the announcement.
“We understand why farmers feel powerless and we understand why the RABDF is trying to respond, but these proposals have been very badly thought through.”
“The RABDF didn’t consult us and we can’t see what purpose this new body will serve,” he added.
Mr Curry believes that if this new organisation is to receive statutory powers it will be a non-starter.

“RABDF is putting a lot of faith in the all-party parliamentary group for dairy farmers but it cannot deliver legislation, the government would certainly put up its backbenchers to kill it.”
Mr Curry added that Dairy UK was already working with the government on a daily basis.

“Prices are only part of the argument. Nutrition issues and the impact of nitrate vulnerable zones are just as important.”