Rory to chair dairy farming conference attended by agriculture minister

Rory Stewart is to chair an afternoon dairy farming conference at Dolphenby Farm, Edenhall, Penrith on Tuesday 21st August, which will be attended by the Minister for Agriculture Jim Paice.

The conference is the culmination of Rory’s efforts in support of Cumbrian dairy farmers, who have experienced a summer of crisis as liquid milk rice reductions have dropped at an unprecedented rate. Rory has held emergency talks with the NFU and dairy farmers from his constituency, attended a historic summit in Westminster (alongside thousands of the country’s farmers), and has personally lobbied the Prime Minister and Ministers within DEFRA for urgent action to be taken.

The conference’s aim is to map a way forward for Cumbria’s dairy industry, and will be attended also by the NFU’s Chief Dairy Adviser Robert Newbery, First Milk’s Kate Allum, Dolphenby dairy farmer Robert Craig, and independent dairy consultant Mark Voorbergen.

Rory said: “Cumbrian farmers need to make their voices heard, and I am extremely glad that we are getting this chance to once again see a Minister come to Penrith and the Border and shine a spotlight on the current plight. Simply put, it is unacceptable that our farmers are making a loss on the production price of their milk, and I believe that matters have gone too far. Cumbrian farmers – and indeed the dairy industry at large – has my full support. This conference comes at a critical time, and we must not lose momentum nor waste this opportunity to make real changes to an inequitable contracting system, and find ways of giving our dairy farmers a stronger voice and more muscle.”

For more information about the dairy conference – for which places are limited, and registration is required – please contact Toni Bruce of First Milk at [email protected]

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