Cheddar Maker First to Adopt Dairy Code of Practice

ENGLAND, UK- Somerset Cheddar maker Cricketer Farm are the first South West organisation to voluntarily adopt the new ‘Dairy Industry Voluntary Code of Best Practice’, introduced by Dairy UK and the National Farmers Union.
calendar icon 6 November 2012
clock icon 3 minute read

Producing authentic handmade Cheddar for 60 years from their Nether Stowey headquarters, the firm’s Managing Director Greg Parsons consulted their 32-strong farmer group last week before announcing the move.

“We already have a unique working partnership with our farmers so adopting the Code was a very natural step. However, by doing so we are not only reinforcing our commitment to them but we are also publicly acknowledging the role they play in the nation’s economy and in meeting the UK’s increasing food security challenges. ”

At the meeting Mr Parsons also announced that they would be increasing the price their farmers receive by an average of 2.1 pence per litre from the November 1 2012. Both moves were welcomed by farmer and Chairman of the company’s Farmers Supply Group John Wattam on behalf of all 32 dairy farmers supplying milk direct to Cricketer Farm.

“The decision to adopt the Code of Practice and to increase the price they are paying for our milk obviously received unanimous support and is testament to the importance Cricketer puts on their relationship with us. This will only help us plan forward and invest in our businesses at a time when many fellow dairy farmers are being forced into exiting the industry” said Mr Wattam of Emble Farm, Lydeard St Laurence near Taunton.

Employing more than 70 people, the announcement comes at a time of growth and investment for the Somerset cheese maker who recently launched two new Cheddars, Nether Stowey Reserve and Quantock Gold.

Speaking at an event to celebrate both Cheddar’s being listed across 33 South West ASDA stores, Red Tractor Assurance’s Head of Marketing Richard Cattell said: “It’s vital that we continue to communicate just how important agriculture and dairy farmers are to this country’s economy. We are therefore extremely proud that many South West dairy producers and Cricketer Farm continue to uphold strong Red Tractor values on quality and origin, helping to strengthen our agricultural sector for many years to come.”

In consultation with Dairy UK and their Farmers Supply Group, Cricketer Farm’s revised milk contract will integrate some of the Code’s key elements from January 1 2013, including:

  1. No retrospective price adjustments
  2. Giving at least 30 days written notice of any price movement and subsequently adhering to a 3 month notice of termination agreement from producers following any price change
  3. Reducing the contract notice period to 6 months
  4. An additional move is the introduction of ‘Farm Signs’ for all Cricketer Farm suppliers to encourage public support for dairy farmers

Adding his support was Rob Dunk, Sales Manager Massey Ferguson UK and Ireland, who said: “The UK’s dairy sector is of huge importance to Massey Ferguson so it is extremely reassuring to see Cricketer Farm’s positive moves in such uncertain times. They are leading the way and are proof that partnerships based on trust and transparency can benefit all parties involved in the country’s agricultural sector.”

Further Reading

Go to a previous story regarding the dairy code of pradctice by clicking here.

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