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Fears for jobs at Somerset paper mill

Staff at the Wansbrough Paper Mill in Watchet have been told the mill could close this December.

It is a major employer in West Somerset with around 170 workers.

It is owned by DS Smith, a lead supplier of paper and packaging across Europe.

DS Smith has released a statement about the proposal:

“Following a review of the long term economic outlook for the Wansbrough paper mill, today we announced to employees at the mill that we are proposing to close Wansbrough Mill and are entering a period of consultation with employee representatives. The process will take into account all possible options for the future of the site.

"This announcement in no way reflects the commitment and efforts of our employees who continue to support our business.

"We will work closely with Union and employee representatives throughout the consultation process to ensure the best possible outcome for all parties. It would therefore be inappropriate to comment further until the completion of the consultation process.”

Dairy farmers in talks with supermarket giant

Farmers protested outside Morrisons' distribution depot near Bridgwater on Monday 25 August Credit: ITV News

Dairy farmers are due to hold a meeting with Morrisons later to discuss whether to commit to a Milk for Farmers cheese brand.

It follows a protest at the supermarket's distribution depot in Bridgwater on Monday night in which dairy farmers called for a fair price for the milk that goes into products like cheese.

Morrisons has already pledged to produce a special milk and cheese brand that would see more money going back to the farmers.


Farmers fight for a "fair price" for milk

Hundreds of dairy farmers have once again been demonstrating over the price they receive for milk.

400 farmers blocked the entrance to the Morrisons distribution centre in Bridgwater last night (24 August) - this time to highlight their campaign to get a better price for the milk they sell to make cheese.

Today they told ITV News the protests will continue until a fair deal is reached.

You can watch Jonty Messer's report below:

Morrisons says that its statement issued a fortnight ago still stands:

Statement 14.08.2015

We know that the dairy farming community faces a tough winter.

We announced earlier this week that we are creating a new brand of milk Morrisons Milk for Farmers where 10 pence per litre goes back to Arla farmers.

Today, we are also announcing that we will do the same on cheese by creating a Milk for Farmers cheddar cheese priced at a retail premium of 34 pence-a-pack above our standard Morrisons cheddar price to deliver the equivalent of 10p-a-litre back to farmers who supply the milk.

We are also pleased to announce that we are going to increase our offer to our processors for the liquid milk element of our processed fresh milk to a minimum price of 26 pence a litre from later this month and through the winter.

This month, we will continue discussions with our cheese processor about other initiatives that will help their dairy farmers.

We hope that this offer along with the other initiatives we have announced this week will help our suppliers to better support British dairy farmers.

– Morrisons spokesperson

Farmers are back blockading Morrison's in Bridgwater

Hundreds of dairy farmers from across the West Country are back at the Morrison's depot near Bridgwater after talks over milk prices fell down.

David Handley from Farmers for Action says that, although they agreed a deal over liquid milk with the supermarket giant, they were unable to come to a similar arrangement with the milk supplied for cheese.

Farmers block Tesco distribution centre

Farmers blocked the Tesco distribution centre at Avonmouth late last night - in the ongoing battle over falling dairy prices. The Farmers for Action group organised the protest in the latest of demonstrations over money.

Farmers protest at Avonmouth Credit: Farmers for Action
Farmers protest at Avonmouth Credit: Farmers for Action


Supermarket milk protest founder: 'We are struggling, and we need support'

Becky Robertson from Chipping Sodbury started the Milk Trolley Challenge. Credit: ITV News

A farmer from South Gloucestershire has been speaking about why she turned the plight of dairy farmers into a national cause.

Farmer Becky Robertson from Chipping Sodbury started the Milk Trolley Challenge, in which farmers buy up a supermarket's entire stock of milk in protest.

Protests like this over the price farmers are paid for a pint have led to Morrisons proposing a premium farmer's brand and Asda pledging to increase prices.

Farmers in talks with Morrisons over price of milk

Farmers blockaded a Morrisons distribution centre near Bridgwater last week. Credit: ITV News

The National Farmers Union is meeting with Morrisons today over the cost of milk.

It follows a series of demonstrations across the West Country by dairy farmers protesting the amount of money they receive for their milk - which they say is barely enough to live on.

Last week farmers blockaded the supermarket's distribution centre near Bridgwater.

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