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Tim backs NFU against milk cut price plan

June 26, 2012 1:23 PM

Local MP Tim Farron with NFU President Peter Kendall. Peter recently called Tim a true ally of farming. (National Farmers Union)Cumbrian MP Tim Farron has today backed the National Farmers Union and pledged to support them amid speculation that milk processors are on the verge of announcing further price cuts.

Following reports in the Farmers Guardian, Tim has today written to DEFRA minister Jim Paice MP to ask him to step up his efforts to drive forward a voluntary code of practice for milk contracts which would give farmers greater security.

Many dairy farmers are worried that another cut in the cost of milk could make the production process unviable. They say the cut would take milk below the cost of production and could force them out of business. The cost of producing a litre of milk - including overheads such as animal feed and vets bills - is between 28 pence and 30 pence a litre.

This week's report follows the news that large middlemen such as Wiseman, Arla, Muller and Cotteswold Dairies cut the price they pay dairy farmers by 2 pence at the start of this month.

Tim said: "I have written to the minister to ask him to step in and move the voluntary code of practice forward. Farmers need greater security and I am calling on the Government to provide that.

"If these rumours turn out to be true I will support the NFU's campaign in any way I possibly can. Another milk price cut would leave many farmers asking if it is worth continuing. We must do everything we can to protect UK farming, which is so vital to our economy and our country."