Worried farmers hold demo at supermarket
FARMERS from the Lutterworth-area joined a protest at a Lutterworth supermarket aimed at telling shoppers about what the low price of milk is doing to their livelihoods.
About a dozen farmers, including Brian Dalby who farms on the Leicestershire and Warwickshire border near Lutterworth, and Peter Parsons from Walcote, were outside the Asda supermarket in Thurmaston on Saturday.
The farmers say they currently receive about 24 pence a litre for their milk, but to make milk production viable they need to receive about 30 pence.
Mr Dalby, who said he has been involved with dairy farming ‘all his life’ said the reaction from shoppers was positive.
He added: “I think people were surprised to hear how little we receive for the milk we produce and that we are making a loss on it.
“The supermarkets are threatening further cuts in August and that could drive more dairy farmers out of business.”
The number of dairy farms has dropped from 13,000 to 11,000 in the past 15 years.
Mr Dalby said: “We sell our milk to a processor who then sells it on to the supermarkets.
“The supermarkets are putting the processors under pressure to keep reducing the price of milk, and the processors in turn pass that reduction onto us.”
The 2p reduction only affects farmers who supply Asda.
A number of other major supermarkets, including Tesco, pay farmers directly for their milk rather than paying processors.
Mr Dalby said a delegation of farmers is planning a trip to London to carry out further protests and reverse the decision to reduce their income by another 2 pence-a-litre in August.
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Saturday 25 May 2013
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