UK: Farmers leaders hold crisis meeting over dairy milk price cuts

An unprecedented meeting of farming unions has called for the immediate reversal of milk price cuts imposed on farmers since April 1.

The National Farmers’ Union (NFU) chaired this morning’s meeting of leaders from NFU Scotland, NFU Cymru, Tenant Farmers Association (TFA) and Farmers for Action (FFA) who came together in an industry show of strength after a catastrophic three months for the sector.

The representatives called for all milk price cuts imposed on farmers since April 1 to be restored by August 1.

The unions have also called on farmers to show their strength of feeling by turning out in force at a crisis summit in London on Wednesday leaving retailers, MPs, processors and the public in no doubt about the scale of the problem.

The summit will tackle the need for retailers working with processors to take responsibility for a sustainable supply chain which returns at least a cost of production for dairy farmers.

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A joint statement said: “The catastrophic cuts will drive farmers out of the dairy industry and we are united in our demand for an immediate reversal of recent and planned cuts. There has been an unprecedented outcry of anger and frustration among farmers. We want to harness that strength of feeling and bring together farmers from across England, Scotland and Wales to express their feelings in London next week.

“Farmers have told us they will do whatever it takes to stand up against these cuts – Wednesday’s summit gives us that chance.

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“There is a window of opportunity between now and August 1 to progress a robust voluntary code of practice, however, we will also be exploring a regulatory solution from government.”

Today’s meeting in Tewkesbury, Gloucestershire was attended by: Peter Kendall, Mansel Raymond, Robert Newbery – NFU, David Handley - FFA, Allan Bowie, George Jamieson, Nigel Miller - NFUS, Stephen James - NFU Cymru, Richard Elliot - TFA.

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