NFU Scotland has welcomed a consultation into contractual relationships in the fresh produce sector.

This latest Defra consultation follows on from similar examinations of the pig and dairy sectors.

The consultation is part of a UK Government commitment to review supply chain practices.

The consultation will gather evidence from individual businesses about how supply arrangements in the fresh produce sector currently function. They will also explore the nature of relationships in the supply chain.

It is also seeking views on whether the functioning of the supply chain can be improved. It is available to complete at the Defra website.

NFU Scotland’s horticultural chair Iain Brown said: “I welcome a review of the contractual arrangements in the fresh produce sector.

“It must put in place regulation for a fairer deal for growers including a mutually agreed pricing mechanism and rules to prevent avoidance of agreed contracts. We also need a ban on below cost selling similar to that already in place in some parts of the EU.”

NFU Scotland's head of policy team, Gemma Cooper, added: “This is a UK consultation.

"But it is hugely important that Scottish growers are well represented.”

"The structure of the consultation is designed for individual businesses to respond.

"We urge any Scottish fresh produce grower to take part and give their views.”