One of Britain’s leading retailers says it is increasing the premium it pays farmers for their milk.
That will include Robert Wiseman Dairies. The news comes less than 24 hours after hundreds of farmers blockaded company's site in Bridgwater and other milk processing plants across the country.
Dairy farmers say they face going out of business after a second round of cuts this year in the amount they are paid for milk. It means they’re being paid less for their milk than it costs to produce it.
Today, The Co-operative Group said it would pay producers a total price of 29p per litre.
– Steve Murrells, chief executive of Co-operative Food
We are taking this action to help alleviate the immediate pressures that farmers within the Co-operative Dairy Group are facing. Going forward, we are committed to finding a supply model that is sustainable for the long-term future of our dairy farmers.
The move has been welcomed by the farming industry including the National Farmers Union who want other retailers to follow suit.
– Peter Kendall, president of the National Farmers Union
We are encouraged by the positive step taken by The Co-operative today in ensuring that its farmers will be paid a fair price for their milk. Their recognition of the real difficulties being faced by British farmers this summer and commitment to support them through these difficult times is to be applauded.
The MP for Bridgwater and West Somerset, Ian Liddell-Grainger, has commended the decision by farmers to protest in Bridgwater last night.
This evening, farmers remain defiant, saying unless retailers raise the premium they pay farmers for milk dairy farmers have 'no future'.
– Westcountry Farmer
We have got to do something. You get two or three generations of farmers struggling, they give you a penny or two and then take three or four away.
Farmers say if the milk price cuts are not reversed more demonstrations are inevitable.