BRITAIN’S supermarket giants are robbing milk producers of their livelihoods, according to a dairy farmer.
The falling price retailers pay for milk from farmers has caused the National Farmers’ Union (NFU) to threaten boycott action. The latest reduction in payments to farmers is due to come into effect from August 1.
Roberta Welton, of AJ Welton dairy farm in Barby Lane, Rugby, said: “The price we get for our milk is criminal – this is our livelihoods, yet we are being robbed by the supermarkets. When prices go down, we are the ones who take the hit.
“If most people were asked to pay an extra four pence per litre just to keep farmers in business, I think they would. We live in a society where we pay more for bottled water than we do for milk – it’s absolute madness.”
She added: “It’s no exaggeration to say that some farmers in this industry are suicidal because they cannot make a living.
“Farmers are furious and we need the public’s support if we are going to change this situation.”
Cllr Howard Roberts (Ind, Dunchurch) is supporting the NFU.
He said: “Dairy farmers rise at 4am every day, 365 days a year to milk the cows that provide the milk we use.
“All we are asking is that the retailers pay them a fair and sustainable price.
“All of this co-ordinated action would be designed to put pressure and bring shame on the retailers and processors who have caused this crisis in the British dairy industry.”
This week Asda announced it will increase the ‘premium’ it pays its dedicated farmers from a penny per litre to 3p per litre from August 1.
This will mean Asda Dairylink farmers will continue to be paid 27.5p per litre for the milk they produce for Asda, offsetting the cut in farmgate prices previously announced by food company Arla, which makes Anchor and Lurpak butter and Cravendale milk.
Asda’s announcement will not affect AJ Welton.