Angry farmers meet with supermarkets as milk crisis deepens

After nation-wide protests over the price paid to farmers for milk, farming unions and supermarket chain Morrisons meet to discuss milk prices. 

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LATEST NEWS: Aldi and Morrisons announced today (14 August) that they will increase prices paid to farmers from milk after pressure from the industry. Aldi will now pay a minimum of 28p a litre and Morrisons will pay 26p. Asda announced on Thursday that it would pay 28p. The average price currently paid per litre is 23.66p.

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Protests across Britain over how much dairy farmers are paid for milk intensified last week. Protestors removed milk cartons from supermarket shelves, blockaded distribution centres and lead two cows into a Staffordshire Asda.

Morrisons, Asda, Aldi and Lidl have all come under fire for failing to guarantee that farmers will be paid at least enough to cover the cost of production for milk.

Meurig Raymond, president of the National Farmers’ Union, said: “the situation many of our members are experiencing has become a crisis”.

Farmers were paid an average 24.06p per litre for milk in June, 25% lower than a year ago, according to the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board. Farmers estimate it costs 30-32p to produce each litre of milk.

Today farming unions will hold an “urgent summit” with supermarket chain Morrisons to discuss milk prices. Representatives of the four main farming unions, NFU, NFU Cymru, NFU Scotland and the Ulster Farmer’s Union, will be present to discuss the problem. Morrisons has stated that it is not seeking any further reductions in milk prices. 

Farmers for Action has asked its members not to target Morrisons in future and are hoping other supermarkets will also join the discussions. 

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James Hole of Farmers for Action said: “We’ve told Morrisons to bring their chequebook. We only have a short time to turn this situation around, and if we can’t, a lot of farmers are going to be forced to sell their cows.”

Read ‘Milked for all we’re worth: a personal view of the dairy industry’