Farmers' show of strength over milk cuts
A crisis meeting of farming unions has called for the immediate reversal of the milk price cuts imposed on farmers since April 1.
The National Farmers' Union (NFU) chaired the meeting of leaders from NFU Scotland, NFU Wales, the Tenant Farmers Association and Farmers for Action, who came together in an industry show of strength after a catastrophic three months for the sector.
The representatives called for all milk price cuts imposed on farmers since the start of the financial year to be reversed by August 1.
The unions have also called on farmers to show their strength of feeling by turning out in force at a summit in London on Wednesday, leaving retailers, MPs, processors and the public in no doubt about the scale of the problem.
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The summit will tackle the need for retailers working with processors to take responsibility for a sustainable supply chain which returns at least a cost of production for dairy farmers.
A joint statement said: "The catastrophic cuts will drive farmers out of the dairy industry and we are united in our demand for an immediate reversal of recent and planned cuts. There has been an unprecedented outcry of anger and frustration among farmers. We want to harness that strength of feeling and bring together farmers from across England, Scotland and Wales to express their feelings in London next week.
"Farmers have told us they will do whatever it takes to stand up against these cuts. There is a window of opportunity to progress a robust voluntary code of practice, but we shall also be exploring a regulatory solution from the Government."