Winter support fund being developed for dairy farmers

Dairy cattle. (S)
Dairy cattle. (S)
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FRESH TALKS between farmers and Morrisons to discuss the milk price crisis have been described as “constructive” by Farmers For Action.

The campaign group said Morrisons will be reviewing how they can make cost savings to bring money to the table to develop a “winter support fund” for farmers supplying milk for cheese.

It follows a series of protests by farmers at the supermarket’s Somerset depot over how much farmers receive for milk for cheese.

In a statement to update farmers on the progress of yesterday’s meeting, Farmers For Action said: “FFA and NFU (National Farmers’ Union) met with senior representatives from Morrisons to discuss how the business can add further support into the market for those farmers producing milk for cheese for the retailer. “This was a constructive and robust meeting, we are pleased that Morrisons were able reaffirm their commitments to provide a minimum price for liquid milk and launch the Milk for Farmer’s cheese and milk lines at the beginning of October.

“Within the meeting discussion where held on how Morrisons could develop a winter support fund for farmers supplying milk for cheese.

“Over the coming days Morrisons will be reviewing how they can make cost saving to bring money to the table for this fund, we will be speaking with Morrisons again on Friday to review the outcome from this exercise.”

The most recent figures released by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs show the average price being paid to farmers for their milk was 23.35 pence per litre (ppl) - down from 31.51ppl 12 months earlier.

Last month, Bradford-based Morrisons said it was aware that the dairy farming community was facing a tough winter ahead and so it was creating a new brand of milk called Morrisons Milk for Farmers where 10ppl goes back to the farmers who supply its milk via Arla.

Morrisons also announced that it will do the same with its cheese by creating a Milk for Farmers cheddar cheese priced at a retail premium of 34 pence-a-pack above the supermarket’s standard cheddar price - again delivering the equivalent of 10p-a-litre back to farmers who supply the milk.