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Scottish Consumers Thank NFUS ‘Dairy Godmother’

First Minister backs calls for dairy solution 

The secret delivery of 300 free pints of milk to homes in Edinburgh has underlined that Scottish consumers want fresh Scottish milk and dairy products and that they believe those farmers producing the milk should receive a fair price.

The NFU Scotland ‘Dairy Godmother’, accompanied by NFUS President Nigel Miller and East Lothian dairy farmer Simon McCreery, delivered milk from Simon’s Yester Mains Farm at Gifford to homes in the Shandon Colonies area of Edinburgh. 

Their final drop off point was Bute House, Charlotte Square to meet with First Minister Alex Salmond to discuss the current dairy crisis and the long-term solutions needed.  Simon, and his wife Jackie, presented the First Minister with pints of milk for himself and Bute House staff.

NFU Scotland President, Nigel Miller said:
“The response from those who woke up to the pleasant surprise of having an unexpected pint of fresh, nutritious milk on their doorstep totally reinforced our view that Scottish consumers truly value having Scottish milk and dairy products available. 

“And they clearly share our opinion that those who care for and milk their cows 365 days a year are entitled to a decent and fair price for their efforts. The scale of the price cuts currently being imposed on producers by processors has rightly invoked anger and frustration amongst Scottish dairy farmers because they threaten to undermine any confidence that farmers have to continue milking cows in the future.

“We want price cuts to be reversed and are continuing to speak to processors and retailers to achieve that before August 1.  We are also working on a robust code of practice for the dairy sector to be put in place so that contractual arrangements between dairy farmers and milk buyers are balanced and not open to the kind of abuse seen in recent weeks.  And finally, we are working with dairy farmers to see how co-operation and collaboration can strengthen their position in the dairy chain.

“We welcome the support that the First Minister and Cabinet Secretary Richard Lochhead have given to this issue and look forward to clear messages emerging from the forthcoming UK ministerial meeting scheduled for this week-end.

“We will discuss progress on all these issues with dairy farmers at an open meeting to be held at Lanark Market on July 30.  We will take a clear steer from dairy farmers at that meeting what further action they wish us to undertake on their behalf to ensure Scottish dairy farmers can continue to supply an appreciative Scottish public with milk and dairy products.”

First Minister Alex Salmond said:

“The ‘Dairy Godmother’ secret milk round was an excellent way for Scottish farmers to say thank you to Scottish consumers for their support over the years and to ask those consumers to contact their milk supplier and ask them to deliver a fair deal to Scottish dairy farmers.
 
“These further price cuts clearly demonstrate that the milk supply chain is not operating fairly and the ongoing instability in the market is not serving the long term interests of the wider industry and may well prove to be the final straw for many of our hard pressed dairymen.  Our farmers are frustrated and angry and I well understand why feelings are running high.
 
“This is clearly an utterly unsustainable situation which is why I’m pushing for urgent action.  I hope this week’s ministerial dairy summit will move us closer to a long-term solution that will ensure our dairy sector can flourish.”

Notes to editors

  • Courtesy of the NFU Scotland ‘Dairy Godmother’, pints of fresh, nutritious milk from the McCreery family’s cows at Yester Mains near Gifford were delivered to 300 homes in the Shandon Colonies area of Edinburgh this morning.  Simon pasteurises his own milk on farm and delivers to homes, restaurants, hotels, shops and nursing homes in the area. See www.yesterfarmdairies.co.uk
  • The secret milk round recognised that dairy farmers all over Scotland wanted to say thank you to Scottish consumers for their support. However, recent cuts mean that most are to be paid a price for their milk that is around 5 to 6 pence per litre less than what it costs to produce.
  • NFU Scotland and the McCreerys also delivered milk to the First Minister Alex Salmond at Bute House in Edinburgh.
  • Photographs of the milk deliveries and the meeting with Mr Salmond are available on request.

Ends

Contact Bob Carruth on 0131 472 4006

Date Published:

News Article No.: 72/12


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