Dairy reform faces legal challenge

DAIRY FARMERS in England have registered “overwhelming” support for a campaign to challenge DEFRA over the unfairness of its dairy sector reform.

The campaign initiated by Charles Holt of the Farm Consultancy Group has been taken up by solicitor William Neville of Bristol-based law firm, Burges Salmon.

Mr Neville has assessed the decision by DEFRA and considers the department may have a case to answer.

To progress the campaign, Mr Holt wrote to selected dairy farmers in England asking for contributions to fund a top EU barrister to look at the evidence. Within a month sufficient funds have been generated to do this and the barrister”s findings will be available in January.

As the reform stands, dairy farmers in England could lose 6ppl in total over the next seven years compared with Scottish, Welsh and Northern Irish farmers.