NFU boss holding crisis talks with retailers

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National Farmers Union president Peter Kendall is set to meet with a number of processors and supermarkets in a bid to end the current crisis.

Mr Kendall yesterday flew to Denmark to meet with Arla and will meet with Bradford-based supermarket chain Morrisons later in the week.

The NFU is seeking to ensure a reversal of the recent price cuts, due to take effect from August 1 which it fears will force dairy farmers out of business.

He said: “I hope there will be further meetings with other processors to follow. We are also actively engaging with all the retailers. Senior staff members met with Sainsbury’s on Monday and I met the boss of Tesco on Monday evening.

“I’ve also spoken this week to the Co-operative and will be meeting Morrisons later in the week.” He added the NFU was “completely behind” peaceful protests which highlight the crisis facing many dairy farmers in Britain currently being held by the Farmers for Action group.

“These demonstrations have huge impact,” he said.

“No retailer enjoys being shamed in this way on their own doorstep. Believe me, it is making a difference.”

He added: “While the public work goes on outside retailers to educate and inform the public, there is a significant amount of work behind the scenes. We know a consumer message has to be simple in order to be effective but we also know that the situation many dairy farmers find themselves in has come about because of a very complex and opaque supply chain.

“Asda’s announcement that it will ensure that the planned price cut won’t impact on its direct suppliers is welcome but still leaves the price below the cost of production.

“We are continuing our negotiations to get a satisfactory voluntary code on dairy contracts.”