MILK buyers could face added pressure to implement the voluntary code on dairy practice.

Processors were given until March 31st to comply with the code by offering fairer and more balanced contracts to farmers, but some companies have not yet signed up, prompting the Dairy Coalition to write to Wales’ farming minister outlining its concerns.

NFU Cymru deputy president Stephen James said: “While a number of large milk buyers are implementing the code, there still some who have failed to step up to the mark and make the changes we have demanded.

“Since our March deadline passed, the coalition has been applying pressure in various ways to get processors to act. This has included calling on retailers to insist that their supply base offers farmers compliant contracts.

“This however, isn’t enough. We need the Welsh Government, alongside the other UK administrations, to ramp up the pressure to ensure the code is the success it can and should be.”

TFA dairy representative Richard Elliot added: “Our members’ patience is growing very thin; if milk buyers can’t be trusted to do the right thing and work with farmers to deliver better contracts then Government needs to step in. This isn’t rocket science, we just want a fair deal.”

Farmers are also being urged to make a stand.

RABDF chairman Ian Macalpine said: “The message from the whole coalition to farmers is you have the power to change contracts. With milk supplies short and processors crying out for milk, farmers need to stand firm and demand change.”

The code was agreed between farming and processing representatives following a summer of protests over milk prices, and is favoured over legislation by the Welsh Government, as proposed by the European Commission.