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Review of Voluntary Code would draw out whether it could be improved

So say's DairyUK Director Jim Begg.

The Voluntary Code of Practice on Producer Contracts is a success and a stakeholder review would draw out whether or not it can be improved. This is the view of Dairy UK Director General Jim Begg twelve months on from the historic Heads of Agreement achieved at the Royal Welsh Show in 2012.

“The Voluntary Code has reached a penetration of 85%,” said Jim Begg, “and that’s a huge achievement. Whilst this figure may increase, the most important thing is that pretty much everyone has examined their business practices in the light of the Code. Some companies, in discussions with their farmers, have decided to stick with their existing arrangements. That’s fine. But they have looked at it and talked through what’s best for them and their businesses.

“Although the Code has not yet been in place for a full production year, there is merit in looking at how it’s working. The objective would be to see whether the Code can be improved and to make more people comfortable with its operation. I will be discussing this with the farming unions very soon.

“The Code doesn’t change markets,” said Begg, “but it improves transparency and choice, so we shouldn’t underestimate the benefits of its existence.”


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