dairy cows

The dairy industry’s voluntary code was set up in 2012

The dairy industry ‘voluntary code’ is to be reviewed for the first time since it was agreed in September 2012.

Alex Fergusson, MSP, former presiding officer of the Scottish Parliament, will chair the review of the Dairy Industry Code of Best Practice on Contractual Relationships, known as the ‘voluntary code’.

“I am honoured to be asked to chair the review and will bear very firmly in mind that we are trying to achieve fairness and progress for the industry,” said Fergusson.

The review process presented a good opportunity for parties to constructively address the issues that had emerged over the last year or so, he added.

There had been some debate over the past year with regard to the code’s provisions on the notice periods given by dairy farmers to their milk buyers, and particularly their application to co-operatives.

Fergusson’s appointment was approved by the industry organisations that established the code – Dairy UK, the National Farmers’ Union and NFU Scotland.

“All of us who have been involved in discussions over the review are delighted to have the support and participation of Alex Fergusson, someone who is held in very high regard,” said Dr Judith Bryans, chief executive of Dairy UK.

Submissions to the review can be made through Dairy UK, the NFU and NFU Scotland.

“The industry has fantastic opportunities for growth ahead of it and the code helps create an environment of trust and collaboration to achieve this,” added Mansel Raymond, chairman of the NFU dairy board.