One of the country's biggest milk processing firms,which has faced protests and blockades by farmers, has abandoned its plans to cut the price it pays for milk.
Robert Wiseman Dairies has announced it is scrapping plans to cut the price it pays dairy farmers for milk. It is the last of the major milk processors to make an announcement following concerted protests and blockades of its plants by farmers.
It had planned a 1.7 pence per litre price reduction, but now says the price it pays to farmers will not change in August as originally planned.
– Robert Wiseman Dairies statement
The decision takes account of concerns raised since we announced a 1.7ppl reduction in our ex-farm price from 1 August 2012. This followed the significant loss of income we suffered further to the substantial decline in cream values experienced since the beginning of the year which left us unable to sustain the milk price we were paying."
"West Yorkshire Police last night attended a trade dispute at an industrial premises on Savannah Way, Stourton, Leeds.The protest involved between 150 and 180 demonstrators and officers attended to ensure a fair balance was struck between facilitating a peaceful protest, ensuring the safety of the public and so the company concerned could operate 'business as usual' as far as possible.
The protest ended at around midnight when the protestors left the scene. There were no arrests. Contrary to reports in the media the protestors were not served with any injunctions. Before dispersing off of their own volition they were served with section 14 notices which imposed conditions on their assembly. The section 14 notice did not compel them to leave the area entirely.
– Chief Superintendent Paul Money, Divisional Commander for City and Holbeck
The relationship between police and protestors was cordial as it was between protestors and the employees of the company.The trade dispute is thought to be part of a national issue and senior officers are in close and regular contact with the company and the protestors to ensure we remain in a position to continue to facilitate peaceful demonstration should the need arise."
The Archbishop of York has added his voice to calls for the region's farmers to be paid a fair price for their produce. Dr John Sentamu warned that supermarkets were dangerously failing to value the agricultural industry.
Last night farmers blockaded the Arla milk processing plant in Leeds to protest against continued cuts.
Around five hundred dairy farmers are protesting outside a food processing plant in Leeds tonight. Farmers For Action, who organised the event say they are not being paid a fair price for their milk and want plans for further price cuts at the end of the month to be scrapped.