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Caffe Nero says badger cull milk boycott is about staff safety

The badger cull is strongly supported by farmers but controversial among animal rights activists. Credit: Ben Birchall/PA Wire/Press Association Images

Caffe Nero has defended its boycott of milk from badger cull areas as necessary to protect its staff.

In a statement the coffee chain insisted it was not bowing to intimidation, but that it had to act when staff well-being was threatened.

With just 2% of our annual milk supply impacted, we made what we feel was the right choice ... We are not intimidated by protestors in spite of their ongoing and upsetting efforts to threaten our business. At the end of the day, we know that the authorities will support us if needed. However, we made a decision to limit any risk to our people as quickly as possible.

– Caffe Nero statement

Animal rights activists told Caffe Nero they would protest if the coffee chain continued to use milk from badger cull areas.

Dairy farmers in Gloucestershire and Somerset have criticised activists for their tactics, and talked of boycotting the coffee chain for its decision. Caffe Nero says it has discussed its reasons with the National Farmers' Union.

West Country MP criticises Caffe Nero's badger cull stance

The badger cull is strongly supported by farmers but controversial among animal rights activists. Credit: Ben Birchall/PA Wire/Press Association Images

A West Country MP is criticising Caffe Nero's decision to stop using milk that has come from farms in badger cull zones in Gloucestershire and Somerset.

With two big milk producers in his constituency Ian Liddell-Grainger says the coffee shop's decision will put jobs at risk.

Caffe Nero took the move after anti-cull protesters threatened to boycott the cafe unless the company refused to the use the milk.

I have a lot of farmers in my constituency. I have superb dairymen, superb cattle, wonderful milk. Don't boycott British milk to put British jobs at risk because you've got some petty vendetta. Get a job, grow up and stop annoying the police."

– Ian Liddell-Grainger, Conservative MP for Bridgwater & West Somerset

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Government accuses badger cull activists of "threatening" Caffe Nero

The badger cull is strongly supported by dairy farmers, but controversial among animal rights activists. Credit: Ben Birchall/PA Wire/Press Association Images

The government has accused animal rights activists of "intimidating and threatening" Caffe Nero into boycotting milk from badger cull areas.

The coffee chain had said it had stopped stocking milk from those farms, after activists said they would protest - leading to anger from farmers in Gloucestershire and Somerset.

It is wholly unacceptable for a small group of protestors to intimidate and threaten retailers in this way.

Our strategy for tackling bovine TB is based on advice from the Chief Veterinary Officer about the best way to control this harmful disease which threatens the future of our dairy and beef industries.

We will continue to work closely with the dairy industry and retailers to offer them all the support we can.

– DEFRA spokesperson

Caffe Nero boycotting badger cull milk, faces boycott from farmers

Farmers say the cull is essential for eradicating TB in cows, while activists argue it is cruel and ineffective. Credit: Ben Birchall/PA Wire/Press Association Images

Caffe Nero says it has stopped stocking milk from farms in badger cull areas, after animal rights activists said they would protest - leading to anger from farmers.

The coffee shop chain now faces a possible boycott from farmers in Gloucestershire and Somerset, including the President of the National Farmers' Union.

The NFU's Deputy President has argued that the cull is essential for eradicating TB in cows, and a lifeline to farmers.

"The people who have made the threat of action against Caffè Nero are a small minority and it is extremely disappointing that the company appears to have bowed into pressure..."

“We need to remember that we are talking about controlling bovine TB – a disease which is spreading in cattle and badgers and will continue to spread if left uncontrolled. The pilot badger culls are a government policy, based on scientific evidence, aimed at controlling this disease which is a huge threat to dairy and beef farmers in the South West and other parts of the country."

“It is especially saddening that this has come at a time when the dairy sector is facing price pressures ... We would urge all members of the supply chain to continue support for British dairy farmers.”

– Minette Batters, National Farmers' Union Deputy President

Day two of the Royal Bath and West Show

It's day two of the Royal Bath and West Show and with the sun still shining tens of thousands of people have spent the day at the site near Shepton Mallet.

Amongst them was the Environment Secretary Liz Truss who met with farmers to discuss the Government's pledges to help rural communities.

Victoria Davies reports

Royal Bath and West Show: what's in store for Day Two

500 traders are exhibiting at this year's Royal Bath and West Show. Credit: ITV News

Day two of the Royal Bath and West Show will see Environment Secretary Liz Truss talking to farmers about the government's promises to champion their industry.

They include getting a fair deal from supermarkets and a strategy to eradicate bovine TB within 25 years. We'll be speaking to her about what the South West's farmers and food producers can expect from the next five years.

Local produce is at the heart of the show. Credit: ITV News

There's also 500 traders exhibiting local produce, along with livestock competitions and food marquees - and thousands of visitors celebrating food, farming and country life.

Tune in to ITV News West Country at 6pm for the latest from Shepton Mallet, and catch up with all the highlights from day one here.

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Royal Bath and West Show opens today

The Duchess of Cornwall at the Show in a past year. Credit: Ben Birchall/PA Archive/Press Association Images

Gates for the 153rd Bath and West show have opened, with thousands expected at the Shepton Mallet showground over the next four days.

More than 4,000 livestock are at what organisers call "England's biggest celebration of rural life", along with 500 traders. However there won't be a high profile political visitor today, as the event coincides with the Queen's Speech for the new Government.

Bristol Rovers High Court battle against Sainsbury's ends - with no decision

A week-long legal battle over the future of Bristol Rovers' Memorial Stadium site concluded in the High Court today.

The hearing was called to settle an ongoing dispute between the football club and Sainsbury's over a land deal involving the club's current home in Horfield.

After six days the hearing finally drew to a close today, but Mrs Justice Proudman made it clear she would not make an immediate decision on what she described as an "extremely complex case".

She has instead reserved judgment until a later date.

Bristol Rovers is involved in a High Court dispute with Sainsbury's Credit Credit: ITV News

Mrs Justice Proudman, sitting in London, was told the football club agreed a deal with the supermarket chain in 2011, as part of its plans to move to a new ground on the Frenchay campus of the University of the West of England (UWE).

The terms of the deal were that Sainsbury's would buy the Memorial Stadium for £30 million and lease it back to the club for a peppercorn rent until its move to the new ground was completed - at which time a new supermarket would be built on the site.

The club would use the money to finance the building of the new 21,700-seat stadium.

At the time the deal was made, the court heard, there was no planning permission or infrastructure in place, the costs were uncertain and Bristol Rovers were still negotiating with UWE.

The Club is hopeful that judgment in its favour will be made soon, allowing it to draw a line under this dispute and move forward with the construction of the new UWE Stadium and planning for next season in League 2.

– Bristol Rovers spokesman
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