The Co-operative Group is sponsoring an initiative to encourage farmers to form co-ops that will give them more clout in the marketplace. The society is seeking two experts with experience in food and farming to help dairy and livestock farmers in Cumbria and the North West organise themselves, set up joint ventures and funding and share knowledge and equipment. The scheme has the backing of Sir Don Curry, chairman of the Policy Commission on the Future of Farming and Food, and food minister Lord Whitty. Sir Don said: "This will create the focus and discipline needed for farmers to become more market led and customer driven." {{NEWS }}