Show asks ‘are we ready for Brexit?’
NFU dairy board chairman Michael Oakes was on the panel at a Q&A session at The South West Dairy Show recently responding to queries on whether the sector is ready for Brexit.
He joined FFA chairman David Handley and Kite Consulting’s John Allen for a debate chaired by Peter Hollinshead, dairy farmer editor for the Farmers Guardian.
All three speakers were given five minutes for their opening remarks before Peter turned to the audience for questions.
Labour came out as a key issue, along with the need for transparency in the supply chain.
Michael called for a fair code of practice and a minimum contract law to prevent dishonest practise.
All three speakers roundly condemned the use of contracts which offered a B price that was not market relevant.
The introduction of forward fixed pricing by some milk buyers was cautiously welcomed by all speakers.
There was a feeling of optimism among the crowd and the speakers, with many alive to the opportunities raised by Brexit but equally aware of the need to first ensure stability in terms of labour, trade and a future domestic agricultural policy that works for and recognises the needs of the British dairy industry.