09-05-2012 16:13 PM | Dairy, News

Farmers take brunt of dairy risks - MP



Farmers take brunt of dairy risks - MP
The NFU has held an emergency meeting with a Cheshire MP as the fight to stop milk processors exploiting dairy farmers continues.

MP for Eddisbury, Stephen O’Brien, met with six south Cheshire farmers at short notice to listen to their concerns about the current milk price cuts and how this affects all dairy farmers in the county.

During May, Dairy Crest, Robert Wiseman, Arla and Muller announced cuts to their suppliers of exactly two pence per litre. The action backs NFU claims that something is fundamentally wrong with the dairy market.

The meeting with Mr O’Brien took place at NFU Cheshire County Chairman Rob Ford’s Brindley Hall Farm in Nantwich on Friday 4 May.

Following the meeting, Mr Ford said: "Mr O’Brien has spoken to Minister of State for Agriculture and Food Jim Paice who assured him that pressure is being put on the processors to change their ways. We let Mr O’Brien know that up until recently the dairy industry had seen 10 years of decline with nearly 50 per cent of dairy farmers ceasing milk production. Confidence had returned to the sector, but the recent 2p per litre cuts could signal the start of another exodus."

Mr O’Brien added: "The sharp decrease in the milk prices with such short notice is an immediate crisis for my dairy farmers without whose products none of us would enjoy milk and dairy based products. Dairy farmers take a lot of risk on our behalf and I am working with my government colleagues to get a fair return secured for farmers. Farmers continue to take the brunt of business risks for processors."

The farmers who attended the meeting were NFU Cheshire County Chairman Rob Ford, Stuart Roberts, Phil Ford, Richard Edge, Phil Latham, John Thomasson, David Hughes (agriculture adviser) and NFU Nantwich group secretary Louise Young.

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