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Farron issues SOS for dairy farmers

May 11, 2009 11:14 AM

Immediate action is needed to save Britain's dairy industry according to Liberal Democrat Shadow Defra Secretary Tim Farron MP, who believes the huge number of dairy farmers leaving the industry has led to a crisis of confidence.

Figures uncovered by Mr Farron have revealed that the number of farm holdings where dairy is the predominant activity has decreased by almost eight thousand since 1997. Many of these farms have been lost in South Cumbria.

Mr Farron believes an Independent Supermarket Regulator would help restore confidence to the industry by ensuring dairy farmers receive a fair farmgate price and are protected from retrospective price changes and enforced 'voluntary' rebates.

Commenting Mr Farron said:

"These figures just emphasise what we already knew about the unfairness of the dairy industry.

"Dairy farmers work unbelievably hard, but no amount of hard work will compensate for the problems caused by huge increases in input costs and powerful supermarkets with no intention of sharing their profits with producers.

"Its about time that the Government understood this and pressed on with plans to bring fair trade for British farmers and a fair deal for the consumer by introducing an Independent Supermarket Regulator."