News cow

Campaigners for fair prices for milk have received the support of their local MPs.

Wrexham MP Ian Lucas and Clwyd South MP Susan Elan Jones met with NFU Cymru representative Gwynfor Jones and six dairy farmers from their constituencies in Wrexham.

The group explained their continuing problems with milk contracts, both with supermarkets and with milk producers.

Wrexham MP Ian Lucas said: “It was very clear that there is a strong inequality of bargaining power in the current climate and individual farmers have little opportunity to negotiate with their purchasers.

“We agreed that it was very important to continue the momentum behind the current campaigning – which has already seen some form of agreement after talks at the Royal Welsh Show.”
Proposals for a Grocery Ombudsman were also discussed and backed during the meeting.

Susan Elan Jones MP added: “It is very important in strong rural communities that dairy farmers have a role. We should all be very aware of the contribution dairy farmers make in their communities.”

Plaid Cymru’s North Wales Assembly Member Llyr Gruffydd has also shown his backing for North Wales dairy farmers, he said: “The recently announced cut in milk prices by processors of 2p a litre comes on top of an earlier 2p cut. The current cost of production is higher than the 24p a litre farmers are now getting – it’s absurd to expect the people who make the product to subsidise hugely profitable supermarkets.

“Research estimates that dairy farmers with a herd of 150 cows, where each animal produces an average of 7,500 litres of milk a year, could face an annual loss of £56,000. That’s crippling and we need a complete re-think if we are to have a sustainable milk sector that isn’t enslaved to the large supermarkets.

“It’s a totally unequal relationship with supermarkets pressuring the big processors who, in turn, put pressure on the farmers. Milk processors can drop prices at a month’s notice while farmers can’t even come out of the contract and go somewhere else.”

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