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Cumbrian MP calls for the Government to help dairy farmers

The Westmorland and Lonsdale MP, Tim Farron, has accused supermarkets and other big buyers of "appalling exploitation" of dairy farmers following recent cuts in the price per litre paid to dairy farmers.

Mr Farron claimed that prices were now 6p per litre lower than the cost of production and was putting the long term future of many farmers in doubt.

The Food Minister, James Paice, said the cuts were a heavy blow and said he was willing to 'bang heads together' but added that it wasn't for ministers to actually set the price.

This is the full dialogue from the House of Commons:

Mr Farron's office says that in May 2012, four major dairy processors: Dairy Crest, Robert Wiseman, Arla and Muller, announced a cut of 2p a litre in the price paid to dairy farmers for milk, which on its own could cost some dairy farmers up to £20,000 per year.

They say this has inexplicably been followed by a further cut of 1.7ppl by Robert Wiseman, 2.0ppl by Arla, 1.65ppl by Dairy Crest, which will take effect from 1st August 2012.