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New measures to help UK farmers and growers in the food supply chain

Staff Writer |
A "collaboration fund" of up to £10 million has been announced in the UK as part of a series of measures to help farmers and small producers compete and thrive alongside larger businesses in the food supply chain.

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The fund will be designed in consultation with the farming industry and will work by bringing together those interested in co-operation.

These groups will be supported by the funding to formally establish, develop or expand, so that farmers and growers can take advantage of new market opportunities to help their businesses thrive.

Collaboration between farmers can bring substantial economic benefits, enabling farmers to benefit from economies of scale, share knowledge and jointly market their produce.

The move was announced in the Government response to the consultation on the remit of the Groceries Code Adjudicator, along with a range of other measures which will come into force to help protect the rights of farmers and small producers, including:

- Introducing compulsory milk contracts between producers and purchasers to help protect dairy farmers by setting out clear terms, including the price for the delivery of milk, the timing of deliveries, the duration of the contract, details of payment procedures, and arrangements for collecting and delivering raw milk

- A requirement that slaughterhouses use a standard grid for the classification of sheep carcasses to help ensure farmers are paid per carcass in a more transparent manner, providing more certainty for farmers in the price they will get for their animals

- A commitment to work with industry to explore improving transparency and access to prices along the supply chain, to help farmers and small producers see if they are getting a fair deal for their produce

- An assessment from the Competition and Markets Authority into whether more grocery retailers could come under the remit of the GCA

- Tackling late payments by highlighting to farmers and small producers the role of the Small Business Commissioner.

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