Farmers hope for results from talks

Farmers for Action chairman David Handley will meet Morrisons on Tuesday, along with members of the National Farmers' Union, to discuss a way forward over the price paid to farmers for milk.

Farmers for Action chairman David Handley will meet Morrisons on Tuesday, along with members of the National Farmers' Union, to discuss a way forward over the price paid to farmers for milk.

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FARMERS protesting over the price they are paid for milk have told supermarket giant Morrisons they must emerge from fresh talks this week with money for hard pressed dairy farmers.

Welsh farmer David Handley and members of his Farmers for Action group said they were due to meet representatives of the supermarket on Tuesday, following blockades by farmers at the Morrisons Bridgwater depot, Somerset, in a dispute over the price of milk used to make cheese.

Farmers claimed Thursday night’s protest closed the depot for 11 hours.

Earlier this month, Morrisons committed to create a new “Milk for Farmers” cheddar which would “deliver the equivalent of 10p-a-litre back to farmers”.

Marilyn Handley, of Farmers for Action, said Morrisons had agreed to this week’s meeting along with members of the National Farmers’ Union.

“Morrisons have been left under no illusion that it is not a meeting just to talk, we have to come out with money for hard pressed dairy farmers,” she said.

“We strongly hope that progress will be made.”

Farmers for Action said talks were also planned with Tesco to discuss the price of milk used in cheese and with the Co-op and Asda over lamb. Further meetings are to be held with both Iceland and Farm Foods and several food service companies.

A Morrisons spokesman said the firm appreciated it was a difficult time for dairy farming but that it was “disappointed by the actions of a minority of dairy farmers who are attempting to disrupt the supply of food to our customers”, adding that recent actions had left its logistics team and store colleagues working round the clock ahead of the weekend.

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