Guidance

Dairy Producer Organisations

Find out what a Dairy Producer Organisation (DPO) is, the benefits of becoming or joining one, and check if you meet requirements.

A group of dairy farmers in England, Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland may apply to the Rural Payments Agency (RPA) to become a Dairy Producer Organisation (DPO).

What is a DPO?

An organisation formed on the initiative of group of farmers, which has one or more aims. This includes negotiating contracts for the delivery of raw milk on behalf of its members.

What are the potential benefits of becoming a DPO?

  • Negotiate on sales of larger volumes of raw milk than competition rules would normally allow, though limits still apply.
  • Strengthen members’ position in the dairy supply chain. This means increased bargaining power and development of relationships across all parties in the supply chain.
  • Negotiate a better price for the delivery of raw milk to processors or to a collector (for all their members).
  • Make sure that production is planned and adjusted to demand, particularly in terms of quality and quantity;
  • Optimise production costs and operating margins through:
    • sharing knowledge
    • sharing of best (dairy farming) practice
    • benchmarking and improved individual farm management
  • Able to explore different opportunities in the market.
  • Give better customer service to milk purchasers

Check the DPO requirements

To be recognised by RPA, a DPO must:

  • be formed on the initiative of dairy producers
  • be formed from a minimum of 10 dairy producers (all of them must be separate legal entities) in the European Union (EU) or produce 6 million litres a year (2 producers needed) or both
  • be a legal entity or a clearly defined part of a legal entity
  • have a specific aim
  • carry out activities properly and effectively
  • have a statute that covers all of the above

Contact

Email: trader@rpa.gsi.gov.uk

Telephone: 03300 416 500

Fax: 03300 416 501

Rural Payments Agency
Dairy Producer Organisation Section
Lancaster House
Hampshire Court
Newcastle upon Tyne
NE4 7YH

Published 31 March 2014