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Farming unions in crisis talks amid milk price protests

Four farming unions met today for an emergency summit amid widespread supermarket protests across the UK about "unfair" milk prices.

They say that government, retailers and the food service industry must "step up to the plate" to tackle the crisis facing the British farming industry.

Speaking after the summit, David Handley of Farmers For Action said "I don't think there's any farmer out there at the moment that will accept they can just sit back on their laurels."

The meeting follows days of protests by farmers including Milk Trolley Challenges, blockades at distribution centres and even bringing cattle into supermarkets.

Farmers estimate that it costs between 30 and 32p to produce a litre of milk but the average price paid across the UK is 23.66p - following a drop of 25% in a year.

Dairy farmers call on government, retailers and the food service industry to Credit: PA

Meurig Raymond, president of the National Farmers Union said farmers were facing "all the risk in these extremely volatile times".

I believe there is now, at long last, a recognition of the dire straits that farmers are finding themselves.

People are losing money. There is no way farmers can sustainably stay in business with these sorts of prices.

There has been a race to the bottom to devalue product. When four pints of highly nutritious milk is selling for less than a bottle of water then there is something wrong in the culture of society.

– Meurig Raymond, NFU president
Meurig Raymond speaking at NFU conference earlier this year Credit: PA

Scotland's Secretary for Rural Affairs, Food and the Environment called for widespread support of the dairy industry.

I am calling on retailers and other buyers to get behind the dairy sector in this time of need and to pay a fair price for milk.

I fully recognise the difficulties being faced by dairy farmers because of the low price being paid for milk and volatility on the global market, and I have written to my UK counterparts calling for a joint ministerial meeting on this issue.

I am also happy to meet again with the dairy sector at any time and in any place during these very difficult times."

– Richard Lochead, Scotland's Secretary for Rural Affairs, Food and the Environment

The four main unions, the National Farmers' Union, NFU Cymru, NFU Scotland and the Ulster Farmers Union, met today in central London to discuss the "crisis".


Pictures: Ian Axton at the Bridgwater milk protest

Dairy farmers from across the West Country took part in a mass protest last night, outside the Morrison's distribution centre on the M5 near Bridgwater.

The farmers argue they're losing money on every pint of milk they produce.

But Morrison have said they're not seeking a low price, and are currently in talks with the NFU.

Our presenter Ian Axton was there last night, where dozens of tractors were blockading the entrance.

Tractor protest against supermarket milk prices

Dairy farmers from across the West Country have tonight blockaded the entrance to the huge Morrison's distribution centre on the M5 near Bridgwater.

The campaigners claim the dairy industry in the country will collapse unless the big supermarkets pay them more. They say they are losing money on every pint of milk they produce.

Farmers arriving at the protest at a supermarket distribution centre in Bridgwater Credit: ITV News
The protest in Somerset is part of a national action to call for fairer prices for milk Credit: ITV News
The farmers are united in wanting their plight made known Credit: ITV News
Tractors block the entrance to the Morrison's depot in a protest over milk prices Credit: ITV News
The farmers hope Morrison's - and other supermarkets - will listen to their point of view Credit: ITV News

Tesco bans small cartons of Ribena

Credit: Joe Giddens/PA Wire

A soft drink made in the Forest of Dean will no longer be sold by a major supermarket following concerns about child obesity.

Lunch-box sized cartons of Ribena, which is bottled in Coleford, have been banned by Tesco because of its sugar content.

The supermarket giant will continue to sell no-added sugar versions and cordial bottles.


Ribbon is cut for Bristol Aiport's new departure lounge

The first of two multi-million pound extensions to Bristol Airport has opened.

The 12 month programme has seen the departure lounge in the east terminal significantly enlarged.

The £8.6 million redevelopment has left it with a modern look and a more retail and catering brands have set up shop making it a much improved shopping experience.

The moment the new departure lounge was declared open Credit: ITV News West Country
Bristol Airport has ensured art is at the heart of the new, bigger departure lounge Credit: ITV News West Country
This sculpture is inspired by a local export - Bristol Blue Glass Credit: ITV News West Country
The departure lounge in the east terminal has been extended as part of a multi-million pound programme Credit: ITV News West Country
The Departure lounge will be more of a shopping experience, with a number of new retail brands moving in Credit: ITV News West Country
The lounge also comes complete with free charging points for mobile phones Credit: ITV News West Country
There is even an open-air terrace Credit: ITV News West Country
With a retractable roof - and plastic dogs Credit: ITV News West Country

Latest Honda Civic rolls off the production line

The first of the new Honda Civics are rolling off the production line in Swindon today.

The company is investing £200 million in the new version of its popular car. Producing the Civic Type-R has secured thousands of jobs at the factory in the town.

It will soon go on sale in dealerships all over Europe.

Wedding fears after bridal shop closes down

The Mystia bridal boutique in Gloucester has closed down Credit: ITV News West Country

Customers of a bridalwear shop in Gloucester which has closed down suddenly are concerned it may affect their wedding plans.

Mystia Bridal Boutique has ceased trading, with a number of brides-to-be with orders in place. It is a member of the British Bridal Retail Association, has issued the following statement about the closure of Mystia Gloucester.

Here at the BBRA we would like to express our regret that this has happened to one of our members. We have no information around the closure nor how may brides are affected as the member is not returning our calls or requests for information. Thankfully, as a member retailer they should have offered their brides our free insurance. Brides who got this were required to call our insurance partners to activate the free cover and to register their purchase. Those that did will be covered and should contact the insurers on the telephone number provided on their policy. Those that did not register will not be covered. If you paid by credit or debit card you should contact the issuer to make a claim. I apologise for the distress that our member has caused so many. Our membership will work hard to help those affected.

– British Bridal Retailers Association spokesperson

The British Bridal Retailers Association says its members are on standby to do all that they can to assist brides that have been affected. You can find a member nearest to you here.

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