Farmers, Milk Prices and Rural Indignation

Authors

  • Michael N. Cardwell University of Leeds

Keywords:

Farmers, protest, milk prices, Farmers for Action, Groceries Code Adjudicator, Regulation (EU) No. 261/2012, social movements

Abstract

For over a decade there have been protests by United Kingdom farmers against the low prices which they receive for their milk. This paper will first set these protests against the legal background, with specific reference to the deregulation of the dairy sector in the 1990s, actions taken by the competition authorities and recent statutory intervention in the groceries supply chain. It will then examine the protests themselves, concentrating on the militant expression of indignation which has coalesced around Farmers for Action and the ways in which the farmers have hoped to influence either industry practice or even the political process. Finally, there will be discussion of Regulation (EU) No. 261/2012, a targeted legislative response designed to rebalance the respective bargaining power of farmers and dairy processors. In conclusion, it will be suggested that the protests have overall been relatively effective, and may even be characterised as a form of ‘negotiation’ in a market which is not functioning well.

Durante más de una década, los ganaderos del Reino Unido han protestado por los bajos precios que reciben por su leche. En primer lugar, este artículo analizará el marco legal de las protestas, haciendo una referencia específica a la desregulación del sector lácteo en la década de 1990, las medidas adoptadas por las autoridades de competencia y la reciente intervención legal en la cadena de suministro de alimentos. A continuación, se analizarán las protestas en sí mismas, concentrándose en la expresión activista de indignación, reunida alrededor de Farmers for Action (Ganaderos en Acción), y la forma en la que los ganaderos han pretendido influir tanto en la práctica industrial o incluso en el proceso político. Por último, se debatirán las reformas a nivel de la Unión Europea, destinadas a reequilibrar el poder de negociación de agricultores y elaboradores de productos lácteos. En conclusión, se sugiere que, en general, las protestas han sido relativamente eficaces, e incluso se pueden caracterizar como una forma de "negociación" en un mercado que no está funcionando bien.

DOWNLOAD THIS PAPER FROM SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2563473

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Author Biography

Michael N. Cardwell, University of Leeds

Michael Cardwell is Professor of Agricultural Law at the University of Leeds. His research is primarily directed to the law of the Common Agricultural Policy and agriculture in world trade, with his publications including The European Model of Agriculture (Oxford University Press, 2004) and, co-edited with Luc Bodiguel, The Regulation of Genetically Modified Organisms: Comparative Approaches (Oxford University Press, 2010). School of Law. University of Leeds. Leeds LS2 9JT. United Kingdom. m.n.cardwell@leeds.ac.uk

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Published

24-03-2014

How to Cite

Cardwell, M. N. (2014) “Farmers, Milk Prices and Rural Indignation”, Oñati Socio-Legal Series, 5(1), pp. 51–72. Available at: https://opo.iisj.net/index.php/osls/article/view/382 (Accessed: 23 February 2024).