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Dairy Farmers to Rally at Lanark on Monday

Short-term focus on price lift, long-term look at future 

Dairy farmers will rally at Lanark market on Monday, July 30 at 1.00pm as NFU Scotland keeps up the pressure on planned price cuts as well as working on longer-term solutions to the current crisis.

Milk price cuts delivered this summer, followed up by cuts due to come into force on August 1 has seen an unprecedented level of frustration and anger amongst dairy farmers.  NFU Scotland hosted a meeting of 350 Scottish dairy farmers in Lanark three weeks ago.  At that meeting NFUS committed to working with other organisations to have all price cuts reversed, to secure a workable code of conduct for the sector and to look at the longer term options for association, collaboration and co-operation amongst dairy farmers.

A subsequent meeting with Scotland’s Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs saw Richard Lochhead issue his own five-point plan on dairy.  Monday’s rally will update producers on progress made in these areas and also hear from the Cabinet Secretary.  Others expected to attend include representatives from Farmers For Action. 

NFU Scotland Milk Committee Chairman, Gary Mitchell said:

“Along with our coalition partners, we remain resolutely committed to tackling the short-term crisis in our sector brought about by the unprecedented level of damaging pressure on farmgate milk prices. 

“The positive announcements on milk price this week from some retailers may only be to the benefit of a minority of producers but they certainly signal that the direction of travel has shifted.  We will use the next few days in Scotland to focus our work on those retailers and processors who have yet to react positively to dairy farmer requests. 

“We will report back on progress on price to those dairy farmers at Monday’s meeting and if further action is called for, then we will respond.

“At the same time, NFUS firmly believes that we need to use this level of momentum and unification amongst dairy farmers to deliver a greater degree of collaboration that ensures dairy farmers are better organised and in a stronger position within the dairy supply chain in the future.

“At the heart of that is a robust code of conduct that delivers much-needed balance to the contractual arrangements between farmers and their milk buyers.   In Wales this week, with the help of politicians, we agreed that we would enter the next and final stage of negotiations with professional facilitation which in turn should help us to achieve the goal of improving the contractual terms offered to dairy farmers.  We want to tell dairy farmers what we have secured and what that could mean in regards to improving the contract that they have with their processor.

“What has also emerged from the current crisis is a stronger desire for dairy farmers to work together to bring about a better future. The dairy farmers who attended the first meeting at Lanark a few short weeks ago gave us a clear steer to look at options around associations, producer organisations and co-operation. Longer term, we must strengthen the hand of farmers to ensure that the positive work of the past few weeks is not undone and stronger producer structures can emerge.

“We have commenced work in this area and want those attending Lanark to consider the options we will bring forward and see how they reflect the mood and spirit of greater collaboration.”  

NOTES TO EDITORS

  • Media are invited to attend the rally at Lanark Auction Mart, ML11 9AX at 1.00pm on Monday, 30 July.
  • The Dairy coalition working on restoring milk prices includes NFU Scotland, NFU, NFU Cymru, TFA and FFA.

Ends

Contact Bob Carruth on 0131 472 4006
 

Date Published:

News Article No.: 76/12


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