Farmers’ hold urgent summit on falling milk prices
Following protests around the UK this weekend, today (10th August 2015), farming unions are meeting to discuss falling milk prices. The action comes following the news that some dairy farmers are now being paid less that the cost of production. Standard prices of milk are now between 23.01p and 24.06p per litre, while it costs on average 30 and 32p per litre to produce. Describing the situation as a “crisis”, NFU president Meurig Raymond said that; “It’s simply not sustainable for any farmer to continue to produce milk if they’re selling it at a loss.” Mr Handley, from Monmouth, told Huffington post that his family farm with an 140-strong herd had £50,000 loss in profits since last May. “That’s £50,000 that has been committed to other things – trying to make a living and the infrastructure of keeping a dairy herd, which is very expensive. Each month we are getting a letter saying ‘sorry your price is less’. We are a small family farm, we have had cows for 30 years. We have been told we are very good at what we do, we produce Red Tractor products and we are facing selling our cows. That’s the harsh reality of it.”
Sadly, Mr Handley’s experience is the norm not the exception. It remains to be seen over the week if talks can be effective.