Milk farmers call on MP in fair pricing fight
MILK farmers called an urgent meeting with MP David Rutley to ask for his help in their desperate bid for fairer pricing.
The National Farmers Union ( NFU) members told the Macclesfield MP about their concerns over the price being paid for milk - in some cases less than it costs to produce.
Mike Gorton, farmer at Harebarrow Farm in Over Alderley and Macclesfield’s NFU branch chairman, gets only 15p per litre of milk, which costs him 24p to produce. Mike said he will be out of business by Christmas if things don’t improve. He says there are various circumstances influencing prices, but that supermarket discounts is among them.
Mike said: “There are a number of things affecting prices including global market factors such as Russia’s ban on EU dairy. We wanted to make sure David Rutley was fully aware of the situation.
“In Macclesfield, we have some farmers on aligned contracts with the supermarkets through Muller Wiseman at Trafford Park which means they get 30p a litre, but I sell through a farmer’s cooperative First Milk and only get 15p.
“It’s about supply versus demand. Demand hasn’t increased globally like we predicted.
“And supermarkets are to blame too, they use milk as a weapon to drop prices and increase footfall. They have devalued the milk but people aren’t buying more.
“We told David Rutley how important it is for people to buy British, including government offices and the NHS.
“People in Macclesfield should look out for the Red Tractor logo which means milk is British and good quality.
“Milk is my only source of income and I will be out of business by Christmas if things don’t improve.
“There’s got to be light at end of the tunnel.”
MP David Rutley said the government is working to assist dairy farmers including urging HM Revenue and Customs to be sympathetic towards the industry and opening new export markets.
He promised to speak to George Eustice, the Farming and Food Minister to raise the concerns, adding: “Farmers do invaluable work for the local and rural economy and are important stewards of our much loved countryside.”
The farmers also raised the issue of tuberculosis among badgers which pass the disease to cattle.
A survey of more than 100 badgers found dead on Cheshire roads showed that more than 25 per cent had the disease, a figure much higher than predicted.
●● milk farmers met with Macclesfield MP David Rutley to discuss unfair pricing