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Dairy farmers shun supermarkets over milk price

A dairy farming family from Dumfries and Galloway have decided to tackle the milk crisis head on- by taking things into their own hands.

Today they launched a new business venture, by selling direct to customers in their local community, instead of to the supermarkets. Lori Carnochan reports:

"You have to be a bit mad to milk cows!"

The dairy industry has been in turmoil for several months due to the lowest milk prices for years.

However this hasn't put off the Roan family from Dalbeattie. They're now cutting out the supermarkets and selling direct to customers.

"I think to milk cows you have to be a bit mad but it's great.

"It's a family business and we have to think of the next generation that's coming through and that's what we do, we love milling cows but it's just finding a way of making it more profitable and if this helps we'll keep on doing it."

– Tracey Roan, Roan's Dairy


Supermarkets shunned as dairy farmers sell direct

Selling direct to the customers Credit: ITV Border

A dairy farming family from Dalbeattie, on the Solway Coast, are cutting out the supermarkets and selling direct to local customers.

The Roan's hope that by supplying local businesses and the surrounding communities with their milk, that they will achieve what they believe to be a fair price.

The milk crisis has been well documented over the past few months, with protests taking place up and down the country.

"We're really passionate about the high quality produce we make here and just feel that we don't get rewarded for that in the marketplace.

"My great-grandfather use to go down to the local villages with a pony and trap so you could say that it's going round full circle again."

– Stuart Roan, Barnbarroch Farm

Farmers meet to discuss milk price

Protests over milk prices Credit: PA

Hundreds of our region's farmers and those with a stake in the dairy industry are meeting in just over an hours' time in Cumbria.

It comes as milk producers say current prices are going to force many of them out of business.

But not everyone is of the opinion that supermarkets are entirely to blame for the plummeting price of milk. One leading agricultural economist Sean Rickard has said dairy farmers should not expect "hard pressed" consumers to subsidize them.

NFU boss backs milk crisis

The new president of the national farmers union of Scotland was in Dumfries and Galloway today to give assurances that the dairy industry will be a key concern for him.

Allan Bowie was sworn into his new post last month, and now he's looking forward to giving farmers in our region the best deal they can for selling their milk.

Our reporter Fiona McIlwraith went along to meet him.


David Mundell: dairy industry needs support

MP David Mundell has asked banks and retailers to support the dairy industry Credit: PA

David Mundell has called on banks and retailers to support the dairy industry until it comes out of the current surplus in supply.

The MP for Dumfriesshire, Clydesdale, and Tweeddale argues that is in nobody's interests to see local dairy farmers go out of business as milk prices slump.

" I have written to Chief Executives of all the major Scottish Banks and retailers asking that they bear with and support local dairy farmers during this very difficult time.

"There is no benefit in seeing dairy farmers being driven out of business because of short term difficulties due to global oversupply, with the result that when the price recovers we don't have a viable industry left locally or in the UK."

– David Mundell, MP for Dumfriesshire, Clydesdale and Tweeddale

His comments come as MPs in Westminster argue that dairy farmers in the UK need more protection from over-supply and falling prices.

MPs call for protection of British farmers

Britain's dairy farmers need greater protection, according to MPs Credit: PA

The Commons Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee has called for the protection of dairy farmers in the UK, as the low price of dairy products continue to cause problems.

The total number of UK dairy famers fell to below 10,000 for the first time in December, as declining prices of dairy products proved unsustainable for some.

Prices have fallen over the last year as supply has outstripped demand.

The decrease in demand is due in part to decreasing exportation to China and to Russia, following its ban on European dairy products, implemented in response to actions taken in Ukraine.

The MPs' comments come a week after some farmers in the country were forced to wait for payment from the UK's biggest milk supplier.

Farmers in the Borders have been protesting low prices over the last few months.

New initiative to fill skills shortage in dairy sector

A new project to help fill a skills shortage in the dairy industry is being launched in Dumfries and Galloway.

Farm owners and school leavers are being encouraged to take part in the scheme and help develop the next generation of farmers.

Young people will be paid for the work they do and it's hoped they'll develop a life long passion for the industry.

Lori Carnochan has been to a farm to find out more.

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