Sustainability commitments require transparency, says UFU

The Ulster Farmers’ Union (UFU) is urging dairy farmers to ask questions about sustainability commitments before signing an official agreement due to a lack of transparency.
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This week the UFU said it is critical that the dairy supply chain continues to improve its environmental sustainability, but farmers need to be fully aware of what will be expected of them and how it will impact their relationship with their milk processor.

UFU deputy president William Irvine said: “Sustainability payments will be introduced in 2024 and dairy companies have started to send communication to their farmers.

"However, essential details are lacking. It is positive that financial incentives are being created to support local dairy farmers to carry out more environmental works on farm, but farmers need to be clear and confident about what is being asked of them otherwise it could cause issues down the line. In some cases, there is a disjoint between sustainability payments and new milk supply agreements.

“We urge all dairy farmers to approach sustainability commitments with caution and to take time to read through everything. If the terms and conditions are not clear in any way, they should contact their milk processor directly or seek legal advice.”