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Thousands Suffer as Co-op Goes into Receivership

04 June 2009
National Farmers Union

UK - The National Farmers' Union has expressed its bitter anger and dismay on behalf of its dairy members who supply Dairy Farmers of Britain after it was announced receivers were called in today.

Well over 1,000 NFU dairy farming members will be affected by the co-operative going into receivership which the NFU has been told will leave DFB suppliers without pay for their milk collected in the last month. Receivers PricewaterhouseCoopers have said that they hope to be able to collect and distribute the vast majority of DFB milk while they attempt to seek a sale of the businesses.

NFU President Peter Kendall has reacted to the news, describing it as a very sad day for dairy farmers and the British dairy industry.

"This is a terrible state of affairs for Dairy Farmers of Britain, but my number one priority is to help our members through this difficult time," he said. "I have agreed a system for immediate support including guidance for members, including those looking to supply their milk to another processor, and we will be talking to the receivers, Dairy Farmers of Britain, and other dairies, to see what can be done to help those affected."

The announcement has incensed NFU dairy board chairman Gwyn Jones. He said: "Given the amount of time DFB has had to prepare for what always seemed like the inevitable, to end up with this sorry mess this is an extremely bitter pill for DFB's members. We all wanted to avoid this situation but, with the receivers called in, this is the end of the line.

"There are questions that will need to be asked at the highest level, but today is about getting the best advice and information out to our members that have been affected by this news.

"I am furious to hear that farmers will not be paid for their milk and I know that many farmers are desperately concerned about not finding a buyer for their milk. This cannot be allowed to happen. I will do everything in my power to help those caught up in this nightmare."

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