NORTH Devon's dairy farmers have a chance to join a new programme to help sell their milk and strengthen their position in the supply chain.
Leaders of the Royal Association of British Dairy Farmers said they will launch the programme in April with local meetings, workshops and study tours of producer organisations in Europe.
They expect to be able to offer financial help for farmers making business plans, feasibility studies and legal costs involved in setting up legally constituted producer organisations.
Association chief executive Nick Everington said: "We are pleased to have been able to secure substantial support from the Dairy Fund package under the Government's Rural Development Programme for England.
"Our Foundation for Collaboration will help us encourage the development of a successful, sustainable and profitable dairy sector which can be achieved in many ways including redressing the balance of power in the supply chain through farmer co-operation.
"We believe this opportunity is very timely. With milk prices at an all-time high and processors keen to secure supplies, it's now that farmers should think about how they can maintain a strong negotiating position and not when milk is at the bottom of the price curve."
The association's Foundation for Collaboration national conference will be staged at the National Motorcycle Museum, Bickenhill, Solihull on Wednesday April 2.
For conference details and more information on establishing a producer organisation or information on the benefits of collaboration, contact project co-ordinator, Lucy Mellor on 0845 458 2711 or email lucymel firstname.lastname@example.org.