Farmers Union Demands Milk Contract Mediator14 May 2013
SPAIN – The Union of Small Farmer and Ranchers (UPA) has called for milk contract disputes to be arbitrated by a mediator.
Using impartial mediators to smooth over the conflict between producers and the rest of the industry could stop the ‘abuse’ of dairy farmers, say the UPA.
This was the plea made in a letter sent by the UPA to Isabel Garcia Tejerina, general secretary of the Ministry of Agriculture, before the final legislatory stages are finalised by the House of Representatives.
Lack of fair prices is the ‘biggest problem’ for Spanish farmers which the UPA says will kill the dairy sector if not addressed.
New ‘Milk Package’ laws have been introduced to ensure producer security through fair price structures, but with mixed success. One such rule, brought in last October, made milk contracts invalid before being approved.
This, they say, could help dairy industry disputes over prices and contractual arrangements.
After several months of negotiating, progress has been made with the 'milk package'. However, an independent negotiator in the final legislatory stages is vital, said Roman Santalla UPA livestock sectretary.
"After some months of hard work we can ensure that the conflicts between processors and milk providers and the way that power is spread throuhg the supply chain is fair on farmers.
"Having a mediator in cases of conflict between producer organizations and the dairy industry is a must."
The House of Representatives will legislate the final phases of the milk package and food chain acts, of which article 20 deals with conflicts in negotiation. However, the UPA has criticised the government little detail and clarity is given in the article about conflict resolution.
TheCattleSite News Desk