Clive Beddall Farmers' leaders will next week press agriculture minister Nick Brown to urge the DTI to speed up the introduction of its new legally binding code of trading practice between suppliers and the top five multiples. Publicly, NFU officials say they have been told the draft code is currently being considered by DTI minister Stephen Byers and that they, and the food and drink manufacturers, will receive a consultation copy soon. But privately, some farming sector figures have told The Grocer that they are angry that they have not been brought into the consultation process earlier. One commented on Thursday: "It's ridiculous. There have been umpteen drafts and we have yet to receive a copy. Does the DTI know how the real world works?" As reported on January 13, the 24-point draft code, which outlaws many practices that have been a bone of contention between medium to small suppliers and the big retailers for years, has been the subject of extensive behind the scenes negotiation between the DTI and the big five chains for weeks. A NFU source told The Grocer: "Our relationships with the major retailers have never been better and it is wrong for some sections of the media to suggest we are at each other's throats. "However, we want to work together as a food chain and the new code will ensure that can happen, without animosity." Meanwhile, with a General Election looming, NFU president Ben Gill and other officials are set to use next week's NFU annual conference to present all political parties with a wish list for the farming industry and the UK food chain in particular. Grocery sector leaders are also expected to attend the two day conference in London, as is agriculture minister Nick Brown. {{NEWS }}