September 1: How EU regulations wrecked milk market

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From: Raymond Shaw, Hullen Edge Road, Elland.

IT is my submission that the very low reward which dairy farmers are receiving for their seven days-a-week, 365 days-a-year labour is entirely due to European Union regulations.

In the early 1930s, during the premiership of Stanley Baldwin, our wholesale milk producers were in a similar position as today when the market was flooded with supply sourced from the West Country and 
Lake District, the less favoured areas.

The Milk Marketing Board scheme was for the milk retailers to pay a levy which was passed on to the consumer.

This satisfactory situation resulted in the annual Milk Race, a costly cycling scheme introduced by the then chairman Sir Steven Roberts.

But this state of affairs was then deemed illegal under a European Union dictat which resulted in each milk producer receiving a quota, which this year has been abolished by Brussels.

Milk is now dirt cheap, a 
multiple of less than forty 
times the 1939 price which 
was 3d (pennies) in summer 
and 3½d in winter – October/March.

Our general public would willingly pay a small increase which could easily be passed on by the all too-powerful supermarket chains.