A £10 million Collaboration Fund has been set up to help the farming industry and growers compete against bigger corporations in the food supply chain
The fund has been designed with the farming industry in mind and will work in collaboration with other interested businesses.
Farming groups will be supported by the funding to take advantage of new market opportunities to help their businesses thrive.
Research suggests that collaboration between farmers can bring substantial economic benefits, enabling farmers to benefit from economies of scale, share knowledge and jointly market their produce.
The move was announced today in the Government response to the consultation on the remit of the Groceries Code Adjudicator, along with a range of other measures which will come into force to help protect the rights of farmers and small producers.
The plans include:
- compulsory milk contracts between producers and buyers to help protect dairy farmers by setting out clear terms. The terms include; the price of delivery of milk, timing of deliveries, the duration of the contract, details of payment procedures, and arrangements for collecting and delivering raw milk.
- A requirement that slaughterhouses use a standard grid for the classification of sheep carcasses to help ensure farmers are paid per carcass in a more transparent manner.
- A commitment to work with industry to ensure that farmers and small producers are getting a fair deal for their produce
- An assessment from the Competition and Markets Authority into whether more grocery retailers could come under the remit of the GCA
- Tackling late payments by highlighting to farmers and small producers the role of the Small Business Commissioner
Announcing the measures, Farming Minister George Eustice said:
“Too often in the past, farmers have ended up being price takers and there have been too many instances where a lack of transparency in prices and charges by some processors has undermined the market. If we want a successful farming industry in the future then it is essential that we have properly functioning markets and that farmers receive a fair share of the value of the food they produce.”
Further plans and arrangements will also come into force to help protect the rights of farmers and small producers in the near future.