NFU President set to improve EU food chain

NFU deputy president Meurig Raymond speaking during the UFU annual dinner at Templepatrick. Picture: Cliff Donaldson
NFU deputy president Meurig Raymond speaking during the UFU annual dinner at Templepatrick. Picture: Cliff Donaldson
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NFU President Meurig Raymond has secured a new role to improve the European food supply chain.

Mr Raymond was elected to serve as the farmers and agri co-operatives representative on the High Level Forum for a Better Functioning Food Supply Chain.

The forum, which seeks to work with member states and stakeholders to eradicate unfair trading practices, is overseen by three commissioners – Commissioner Hogan (Agriculture and Rural Development), Commissioner Bienkowska (Internal Market) and Commissioner Andriukaitis (Health and Food Safety).

Speaking after his election to the position, Mr Raymond commented: “The NFU lobbied hard for the government to introduce the Groceries Code and Adjudicator in the UK.

“Although it isn’t perfect, it has improved relations between suppliers and retailers. I will be highlighting our experience – as Commissioner Hogan so frequently does – to my colleagues on the forum to ensure our example of best practice is shared throughout Europe.

“The NFU continues to call on the European Commission to bring forward legislation to deal with unfair trading practices. We want to ensure that farmers receive a fair deal in the food chain both at home and abroad.

“The new High Level Forum is a chance to improve the food chain for the long term - deal with unfair trading, ironing out volatility and create opportunities for the farming sector. The food chain is now in the political spotlight, and I intend to keep it there.”

New top

team in Copa

At its biannual elections last week, members of the European farmers’ organisation Copa elected Martin Merrild, President of the Danish Agriculture and Food Council as its new president.

Mr Merrild replaces Dutchman Albert Jan Maat who has presided over the organisation since 2013. Six vice presidents from across Europe were also elected.

They are; Eddie Downey (Ireland), Henri Brichart (France), Roberto Moncalvo (Italy), Maira Dzelzkaleja (Lithuania), Franz Reisecker (Austria) and Miklós Zsolt Kis (Hungary).

Milk Market

Observatory

The latest Milk Market Observatory meeting heard that while the worst of the dairy crisis might have passed, there is still a long way to go for prices to return to previous levels.

The MMO – set up by the European Commission to provide statistics on the EU milk sector – reported that European milk production was up by 1.1% for the first seven months of the year and up 2.8% for April – July with nineteen of the twenty eight member states reporting an increase in milk production since the end of quotas.

Average farm gate price is approximately 29.7 c/kg for July. This is 12% below the last five years’ average price. The commission reports that applications for private storage aid have reached 150,000t for butter and close to 50,000t for skimmed milk powder (SMP) and around 20,000t of SMP in intervention.