Milk Row: Dairy Farmers Strike A Deal
Dairy farmers have agreed a deal with milk processors, resolving a stalemate over price cuts after days of protest.
After hours of talks at the Royal Welsh Show in Powys, both sides agreed to sign up to a voluntary code of practice for milk contracts.
This means firms buying milk, such as big supermarkets, will have to give a "sensible" notice period when changing prices to give farmers a chance to opt out.
The summit came after more than 2,000 farmers took part in a third round of protests over the move to cut prices by 2p per litre.
Plants near Bridgwater, Somerset, Droitwich Spa in Worcestershire and Market Drayton in Shropshire were all blockaded on Sunday night.
Farming minister Jim Paice said: "We have got a signed agreement and both sides will now work on the detail over the next few weeks.
"It does mean that any producer will get a sensible notice period of a change of price from their processor and they will be able to give three months notice if they want to quit."
Mr Paice made clear that the Governent could still opt to legislate if the code fails to work, and could make contracts compulsory - but even then, it would still not be able to dictate prices.
Farmers For Action (FFA) had argued that the recent 2p per litre cut in the price they are paid, combined with rising feed costs, would drive many dairy farmers out of business.
National Farming Union (NFU) president Peter Kendall said the announcement did give some hope for the long term but warned it did not solve problems they face 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.
"The farming community is more united than ever before and the strength of feeling on this dairy issue is increasing and not decreasing.
"We will spend the rest of this month collectively throwing 100% of our efforts into reversing the price cuts from earlier this year and rescinding the ones on the horizon on August 1."
Mr Paice will also hold a meeting with the big supermarkets later in the week to get them to sign up to a voluntary code.
Campaigners want all major supermarkets and their suppliers to sign up to an agreement that would give them a price to ensure their businesses are viable in the long term.
The Co-Operative and Morrisons supermarket chains have responded to the protests by announcing rises in premiums paid for milk to farmers.
And from August 1, Asda is increasing the premium it pays by 2p per litre, which means its 272 Dairylink farmers will still be paid 27.5p a litre - offsetting a cut by milk processors Arla.
The extra premium works out at around £30,000-a-year for a Dairylink farmer.
Asda's commercial director for dairy Karl Martin said: "We have listened to the concerns of our dedicated dairy farmers and recognise the financial pressures they are under."
what do you think?
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Ha ha ha.
Good for them, let's support British farmers .
The price of milk in supermarkets has gone up from 40 p to 49 p over the last couple of years, so why are they cutting the price they pay for farmers? By the way, Lord Sainsbury is a Labour Party supporter.
Morrisons and Co-op already put up price! Well there's a suprise. Only has to be a whiff of a protest and prices go up! (look at the petrol fiasco). Wonder if they will remember to put prices down later? I bet not!
They havent put up the price of milk theyve agreed to pay more for it to the supplier.
it seems strange to me that people are prepared to pay more for bottled water than they are for milk, producers like in any other industry should control the price paid for the product not the supermarkets or dairies who make the most profit anyway, perhaps we should go back to the milk marketing board like it was before,
Good point about the water! Hadn't thought of that. Mind you, sleep is still close and so I haven't had many thoughts at all today yet! Ha ha ha.
I live in the countryside now and I never seen a skint farmer they live in there big farm houses with a couple of range rovers parked outside dont look to me there excatly on the poverty line there just like london cab drivers always pleading poverty and moaning
I am a farmer. Just how many of them are payed for.As for large homes most have been in farming familys for years.LIKE TO SEE YOU AND YOUR FAMILY GET BY ON WOT WE ERN
me neither Paul
I see your point to an extent - but their money was made when times were good - and surely everyone aspires to having the things they want and have earned. It's not a lot to expect when you work up to twenty hours a day. Now these big farmhouses are at risk and when you are a farmer your business is often your home. It's a lot to lose!
Bring back mmb then we Would get a fair price
its simple farmers produce too much milk hence low price
Also simple you not a clue what you talking about or the way the supermarkets run things.
Wow Paul - who'd of thought it - farmers owning off-road vehicles! What is this world coming to?
A terrible state of affairs indeed!
all the farmers i have ever had the midfortune to come into contact with have all been the same. greedy. money grabbing fiddlers. they recieve fortunes in subsidies for everthing from how many livestock they have. leaving fields fallow, planting hedgerows. ponds. you name it they have a subsidy for it.grand country houses big off road vehicles.its time they lived in the real world.theyve had it to good for to long.
yeah i remember those some of those greedy fiddlers blowing their brains out a few years ago making a mess everywhere, just cos they wher going bankrupt. selfish money grabbers.
ps they are also real nasty to anyone who walks across their fields even though by law there is a public right of way.its time they realised the earth belongs to everyone .bunch of nasty tempered bullies in my experience
the land you talk about belongs to them. Is it ok if we all want to walk through your back garden ?. It must be because according to you it belongs to all of us.
dont be so ridiculous bulgin. notice you had nothing to say about the rights of public access or indeed the massive subsidies you fiddle ha
what subsidies, I work in a factory. Im making a comment on your apparent claim to own the whole of the country.
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put up the price. Its ridiculously low. just compare it to the price of a bottle of water....water....ffs. I don't want to drink EU milk, I want nice fresh milk from English farmers and I dont mind paying for it. did you know that farmers in Britain get letters from their customers telling them what the price is going to be !.....WHAT ! thats like having your car serviced and telling the mechanic how much your going to give him for doing it.
hey bulgin would you mind paying for mine. nothing wrong with eu milk its just cheaper than ours
pay for your own milk mcardle. I dont want milk from some dodgy french farmer, thanks. We all know how that lot ignore the rules and regulations regarding animal welfare. I want good old blighty milk.
oh and i suppose english farmers are role models in animal welfare heh heh. by the way have you ever been to the country or met a farmer
Of course I have. They seem to be really gard working people to me. Look I can't help it if you where raped by a farner or whatever. Its obvious you have a reason to hate them. You should try to understand that there are a lot of samll dairy farms out there (80 - 120 cows maybe) that are really struggling to survive. If the price goes down by 2p a litre then that means about £4000 pounds a month loss ( average ). Its costs a fortune to feen there cows the proper stuff to make good milk, not the cheap rubbish that EU use.
Also, the price has been going down month after month. The supermarkets admit they use milk as a loss leader. Apparently they want the farmers to bare the loss. Do you really support tescos etc over small business ?
unlucky then aint it there are plenty of people losing their jobs what makes the farmers any different
anyway what makes you think yourself an authority on dairy farming.
hey bugin a little advice if you dont like walkers steer clear of the countryside .cos although you might not realise it there are a lot of walkers there lol
reading the comments on here i take it that allof you who think the farmers are not in the real world are happy that the supermarkets are flogging you the milk they paid 25p (5p less than it costs to produce) at a price which nets them a very nice 15p profit for doing nothing other than put it on their shelves( its delivered to them by the processor) what farmers are asking for is not an increase in price to you but a fair balancing of the profits( if you want your milk cheaper you could try asking your supermarket why they cant cut the price to you by reducing their profit margin to that of the farmers i.e.-5p and see how far that gets you)
I'm with the Farmers on this, a litre is 1 and a half pints so they are actually paying around 18p a pint, in my local Sainsburys they charge 49p a pint, so are making 31p on each pint of milk! I think they can afford to be a bit generous to the people who actually do all the work!!!!