SHARP falls in milk prices have highlighted the limitations of the Groceries Code Adjudicator, an MP has said.
David Davies believes the groceries watchdog should be extended to cover dairy suppliers.
He was speaking on a visit to Monmouthshire Councillor Ruth Edwards’ Whitehall Farm in Rockfield on Monday (1st June) to mark World Milk Day.
“The volatility of worldwide and domestic milk markets is impacting hugely on our dairy farmers,” the Monmouth MP said.
“Intense competition among supermarkets is also having an effect. A number of supermarkets are now selling four pints of milk for just 89p.
“I certainly think we need to look at extending the powers of the Groceries Code Adjudicator to cover the relationship between processors and farmers.”
The adjudicator was set up to investigate complaints and ensure suppliers to the 10 largest supermarkets are treated “lawfully and fairly” based on an established code of practice.
It only investigates complaints relating to the retailers’ direct suppliers, meaning the vast majority of dairy farmers are not covered, and does not get involved with pricing disputes.
The government has said there would be a review of the adjudicator next year.
World Milk Day was first celebrated in 2001 and has since become an annual event in over 30 countries.
The day provides an opportunity to focus global attention on the nutritional and economic benefits that milk has to offer.
Dr Judith Bryans, Chief Executive of Dairy UK, added:
“Milk is truly a product to be proud of.
“This natural great tasting food contributes significantly to the world’s economy and plays an important nutritional role for all ages.”