West Midlands Milk Protest
Dairy farmers and processing firms have struck a deal 'in principle' to end the bitter stalemate over milk prices.
T he deal follows protests by dairy farmers across the UK, including the West Midlands over the weekend.
Several agricultural unions say their members are angry at being paid less for the milk they produce by big supermarkets - who aim to keep the cost of dairy products for its customers as low as possible.
Following hours of talks, both sides have agreed to sign up to a new voluntary code of practice.
It means firms buying milk, like big supermarkets, would give a "sensible" notice period when changing their prices - so farmers would have enough time to opt out of any deals.
Government officials say they could still bring in legislation at a later date if the code failed to work - but admitted ministers would still not be able to dictate prices.
National Farming Union (NFU) president Peter Kendall said while the announcement gave some hope for the long term it did not solve the issues farmers faced on a daily basis.
He said: "This agreement will give us the architecture we need to make sure that we don't end up with the same dysfunctional markets that are responsible for the dairy crisis we have today."