Milk Protests Pick up, MPs Question Processors

UK - This week, dairy farmers have been taking action outside supermarkets across the UK in frustration over recent price cuts. Today, the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee will take evidence on the current problems in the UK dairy sector to follow up on issues raised in the Committee’s 2011 inquiry on the future of the dairy industry.
calendar icon 17 July 2012
clock icon 2 minute read

Across the UK, small scale protests have taken place outside Morrisons and Asda, including stores in Welshpool and Leciester.

Farmers in Wales picketed Morrison’s supermarket at Welshpool earlier this week. Led by NFU Cymru Dairy Board Vice-Chairman, Jonathon Wilkinson, displayed posters and handed out leaflets to consumers explaining why they felt certain retailers, including Morrison’s were failing to support dairy farmers.

Mr Wilkinson said: “Dairy farmers across the nation are losing money with every drop of milk they produce so we have united here to voice our concerns.

“We have come here because Morrison’s like Asda and the Co-operative don’t ensure that dairy farmers supplying liquid milk get a fair price, they do not even ensure that their farmers get a price that covers the farmer’s cost of production.”

“Retailers and processors have to take responsibility for delivering a sustainable supply chain that ensures all parts of the chain can make profit, todays demonstration is about educating the consumer as to why we feel certain retailers are failing to support dairy farmers and what consumers can do to help.

“We hope as a result of our actions consumers will ask retailers what they are doing to ensure dairy farmers receive a fair price for their milk.”

Further action is being planned by Farmers for Action (FFA) to take place tomorrow (Wednesday 18 July).

FFA says: "It is imperative that the action be peaceful and to our best ability within the law as this is just the start. It is our intention, along with our coalition partners to ratchet up the pressure on both retailers and processers in the next 10 days."

Commenting on the proposed cull cow-scheme which has been suggested by some farmers, FFA says on its website that caution should be taken.

FFA believes that the word killing may lose farmers massive public support. It also warns that a large number of cull cows on the market will immediately deplete the current cull cow price, and impact beef prices.

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