Farmers facing ‘desperation’

Milk production...a farming staple, but farmers nationally are angry now (Pic by Jim Clare)
Milk production...a farming staple, but farmers nationally are angry now (Pic by Jim Clare)

As anger grows at the low prices paid for milk, dairy farmers have been protesting this week.

In Ayr and Kilmarnock farmers and their families filmed themselves buying all the milk off supermarket shelves before handing it out to passers-by outside, to highlight the loss they say they are making each day.

Arla, Britain’s biggest milk co-operative, has announced a price cut of 0.8 p per litre - taking the price to 23.01p a litre for its UK members. Farmers put the cost at between 30 and 32p to produce each litre of milk

NFU Scotland President Allan Bowie commented: “Understandably farmers and their families are frustrated.

“The situation, not just for dairy and lamb, is dire across the whole of the UK and farmers are now at the end of their tether and want to see action.

“These young farmers are the future of the industry and they are frustrated at the dialogue with processors and retailers. They feel they have been left with no option but to try and put pressure on them.

And he added: “We would ask that any protests or demonstrations are done in a legal and civil manner.

“NFU Scotland supports those that have clear objectives and are carried out in a collective and collaborative manner.

“NFU Scotland Ayrshire gave strong assistance to last night’s demonstration, with support from head office. Financial support was also given by NFUS Ayrshire and others within the region.

“We need the consumer to be able to buy Scottish or British produce on their local supermarket shelves, and for the farmers to be paid a reasonable price for their efforts.

“It was evident from last night’s demonstration that there was strong support from local people for achieving this.

“Farmers are in a position of desperation and this latest action is a reflection of the current dialogue that is not working. Farmers now feel they have been left with little option.”