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Milk price cuts protests ‘could change industry’
STRENGTH in numbers demonstrated by Cheshire farmers, who protested against milk price cuts, could help change the industry for the better.
That is the message from National Farmers Union (NFU) chief dairy advisor Rob Newbery in the aftermath of the crisis.
As reported in the Guardian, a proposed price cut would have caused many Knutsford farmers to be paid less for milk than it costs to produce.
But, following a huge outcry and a number of blockades, all the major dairy processors made a last minute U-turn and called it off.
“We need to turn the success of our short term collaboration into long term change,” he said.
“We all need to be identifying export opportunities for our Great British dairy products.”
Jim Paice, minister of state for food and agriculture, also spoke out at the same conference.
He added: “We have a £1.2billion deficit in dairy products in this country. Virtually all of it could be produced by our own farmers.
“We can have up to 33 per cent of the county’s entire dairy production in one producer organisation.
“That’s a massive amount of milk.
“We have to claw back the 25 per cent of the dairy industry we currently import, and I believe we have the ability to do that.”
The proposed price cut by Robert Wiseman Dairies, Arla Foods, Dairy Crest and First Milk was blamed on a collapse in the value of cream.