The UK’s farming ministers have been challenged by their Scottish equivalent to secure a “fairer framework for farming” during today’s emergency summit in Brussels.
“We have an unprecedented opportunity to put an agreed ask to retailers and food service across the country to support our farmers and get the sector back on its feet,” said Scotland’s farm minister, Richard Lochhead, who will attend the Brussels summit.
“Our joint aim must be to secure a thriving supply chain that is transparent and fair, across all parts of the UK. We must create a fairer framework for farming.”
Mr Lochhead (pictured above) also set out the following list of pre-meeting proposals which he said were designed to make a real difference to the farming sector:
- A commitment to encourage a thriving supply chain, including primary producers, throughout the UK in the short and medium term.
- Refining and delivering best practice on labelling/menus/packaging so that the consumer is in no doubt as to sourcing.
- Refining and delivering best practice on display, with clear differentiation between products of different origin and an end to co-mingling.
- Commitments on sourcing, including active steps to increase purchases from UK suppliers and annual statements of sourcing policy and practice.
- A commitment to fostering medium term relationships with UK suppliers, including the operation of producer groups and a preference for longer term contracts.
- Co-ordination of inspection requirements so as to reduce costs in the supply chain.
Mr Lochhead has also written to the UK’s farming ministers calling for a “united front” for farmers the length and breadth of the country ahead of today’s summit.