MP takes milk prices petition to Downing Street
This afternoon, South Lakes MP Tim Farron, alongside the Leader of South Lakeland District Council, Peter Thornton and NFU Secretary Derek Lomax, his wife Mary and local farmer Michael Packham took their petition demanding a fair deal for dairy farmers to Number 10, Downing Street.
The petition, which has over 1000 signatures, was launched at the Westmorland Show in September alongside the National Farmers Union and calls for people to get behind the campaign led by Tim and the NFU to ensure that dairy farmers get a fair price for their milk.
Tim recently gave his backing to the NFU's 10 point plan which is designed to secure the long term future of the dairy industry. At the recent Livestock 2012 event organisations representing dairy farmers and processors agreed a voluntary code of practice covering milk contracts. Tim is calling on the Government to police this strongly to ensure the deal is adhered to.
Despite small climb downs from dairy companies including Robert Wiseman and Arla Muller, farmers currently still lose around 5p on every pint they produce. The average cost of production is 30p per pint.
Commenting Tim said: "Every farmer should receive a fair price for their milk - one which at least covers their costs to produce milk. A few weeks into the new voluntary code and already we're starting to see slight changes in behaviour from the supermarkets and the middle men; however this must not be the end.
"This petition firmly puts the ball in the Government's court. It is about fighting hard alongside the NFU and local farmers to defend their interests. The introduction of the Grocery Codes Adjudicator, which is currently going through Parliament, is an important step forward but I want to make sure that the Government doesn't sit back and think that is enough."