September 1: How EU regulations wrecked milk market

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.

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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.