Dairy farmers won’t bottle on milk prices

Hundreds of Scotland’s dairy farmers met at Lanark Mart on Monday to demonstrate their anger and frustration at recent milk price cuts.

NFU Scotland is calling for these latest cuts to be reinstated immediately and for all parts of the supply chain to commit to creating a sustainable operating environment.

NFU Scotland’s president, Nigel Miller said: “There is no mistaking the sense of crisis among milk producers. Recent price cuts have stripped millions of pounds out of dairy farmers’ businesses and created anger, frustration and fear for the future. The situation has also created a level of unity within Scotland and the rest of the UK – between farmers and farming unions alike – to break the destructive power of discretionary pricing.

“We are at a crossroads, and our best option is to agree upon the goals which can actually lead to change. This may require legislation from Westminster or Holyrood, or both. To that end the meeting is the start of a coordinated campaign of action, which will also include a meeting with UK Agriculture Minister, Jim Paice and an anticipated 1500 dairy farmers from across the UK.”

NFU Scotland’s milk committee chairman, Gary Mitchell said: “The meeting brought together dairy farmers and NFUS to demonstrate our commitment to a dairy industry which we believe should be the norm: one in which dairy farmers are paid enough to produce the milk, cheese, cream and other consumer staples which we know people want to buy.

“The crowd we’ve had at Lanark Mart, combined with Westminster’s gathering must send a clear signal to processors, retailers, government and consumers that the fresh pint of milk we take for granted is currently on the endangered species list.”