Rory supports Cumbrian dairy farmers
Rory joined thousands of farmers from across Britain in Westminster yesterday, at a specially convened NFU ‘emergency summit’ to discuss the latest rounds of dairy price cuts affecting the liquid milk industry, and hundreds of farmers in Penrith and the Border.
Rory said: “I am here to represent the many hard-working dairy farmers of Penrith and the Border, who are incredibly distressed by these recent price cuts. The profit ratios the retail trade have taken over the past 15 years have more than quadrupled, and some are paying below the cost of production. Yet again we are seeing very short-sighted decisions being taken now, which will potentially damage the industry for years to come. Farmers cannot go on getting 24p a litre for milk when it costs 30p to produce. I wholeheartedly endorse a reversal of these damaging cuts, and will do all I can to support our Cumbrian dairy farmers on this.”
The meeting illustrated how farmers are being pushed to the brink by the latest round of cuts of up to 2p a litre by major milk processors, on top of similar reductions in the spring. The NFU warned that many farmers will be forced out of business, with many losing up to 6p per litre, and they called for price cuts to be reversed by August 1st 2012.
Later in the day at No.10 Downing Street, Rory raised the issue of dairy farming personally with the Prime Minister and introduced him to a leading expert on the dairy industry. The Prime Minister expressed his continued determination to look for ways to support and help dairy farmers.
Rory is convening a dairy ‘mini-conference’ in August near Penrith, when Agriculture Minister Jim Paice is due to visit the constituency, and will take the opportunity to continue putting pressure on Defra to intervene in the issue of inequitable dairy contracts that allow dairies and processors to alter pricing indiscriminately.