York farmer demands greater fairness in dairy supply chain

It is crucial for greater fairness and transparency in the dairy supply chain if the industry is to deliver to meet the Brexit challenges presented by the Government, newly elected union official Paul Tompkins said.

Paul Tompkins, the newly elected vice chairman of the NFU's national dairy board.

Mr Tompkins, who farms at Melbourne near York and produces milk from his herd of 250 pedigree Holstein cows, was elected vice chairman of the National Farmers’ Union national dairy board this week.

Speaking after being elected to the role, he said it was apparent that the Government has high expectations of dairy farmers as Britain leaves the European Union and new food and farming policy is drawn up.

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Mr Tompkins said: “I’m confident we can deliver what is being asked of us – namely the development of a productive, innovative sector that delivers high animal welfare and quality, nutritious food whilst contributing to the health of the nation, minimising our environmental footprint, caring for the countryside and engaging with people about how their food is produced.

“However, I am concerned that fairness in the supply chain is a prerequisite for the progress we all want to see. Only when we achieve a fair supply chain can dairy farmers prosper and the government has an important role to play in ensuring and enforcing that fairness.”

He added: “Across our region, dairy farmers work hard every day of the year to produce a superb product and I look forward to playing my part in ensuring they are represented at every level. This will be especially important as Brexit and the Government’s proposals for a new domestic agriculture policy present us with a once-in-a-generation opportunity to shape our future for the better.”