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Progress on milk price talks

Dairy farmers fighting for a better price for their milk say they've made progress in talks with processors in Somerset. The group Farmers For Action has staged a series of blockades at the Robert Wiseman plant outside Bridgwater.

It says outline agreement has been reached on a new formula for milk pricing. But the group has warned that it may take further action if it doesn't see results soon.

Dairy farmers to sell off their herd

Rosalind Cookson will be particularly sad to let go of Snowy Credit: ITV West

A couple who have been dairy farmers all of their lives will sell off their herd tomorrow. Chris Gott and Rosalind Cookson from Gloucestershire say they have had enough of working hard for little gain and are getting out of the industry.

Despite a new agreement that's been drawn up between dairy farmers and milk processors, they don't believe there's a long term future in the industry.

Rosalind Cookson and Chris Gott are giving up dairy farming at Nashend Farm Credit: ITV West

Chris Gott says it's too hard to go on.

"How can you keep going forward if you keep getting knocked down? The prices of the milk. I mean we've got a young family. My son is quite keen on the cows but I don't want him to do dairy because there is no money in it".

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Dairy farmers protest again over milk prices

Dairy farmers have been protesting outside the Robert Wiseman processing plant in Bridgwater. Credit: ITV West

Angry farmers blockaded a Bridgwater dairy processing plant last night, for the third time in the space of a week, in protest at milk price cuts they claim are crippling their livelihood.

Protest group Farmers For Action organised blockades at several UK dairies, including Bridgwater's Robert Wiseman Dairy. The action follows the company's announcement that it's cutting its milk price by 1.7p per litre from August 1.

Meanwhile, Milk supplier Dairy Crest bowed to pressure today and agreed to put its planned milk price cut on hold for at least two months, after protests from farmers.

Farmers say if Somerset-based Robert Wiseman Dairy doesn't do the same they'll be protesting at the plant again tonight.

Milk price code to be finalised by end of August

A voluntary code agreed by farmers and milk processors will be finalised by the end of August. Politicians arranged a crunch meeting today following blockades at milk processing plants across the country by farmers.

The finer details of the code will now be finalised by all parties by the end of August. The code means in future, contracts between farmers and dairy processors will be freely negotiated, fairer and more transparent.

– Government spokesman

As part of the agreement, individual farmers can negotiate contracts - covering issues such as pricing and notice periods. Farmers will also have the ability to leave contracts "more easily" if they are unhappy with the price they receive.

BREAKING: Milk price code agreement

A deal has been agreed between dairy farmers and milk processors. The meeting was called by farming minister Jim Paice after protests from dairy farmers from the West Country and across Britain over cuts to the price they are paid for their milk.

The agreement regards establishing a voluntary code of practice for those within the industry - but terms and conditions have yet to be finalised.

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Farmers' blockade pays dividends

A blockade by farmers of the region's biggest milk processor has paid dividends today. The Co-op group says it's increasing the premium it pays on milk to farmers within its group, to 29 pence per litre. That will include Robert Wiseman Dairies.

Last night hundreds of farmers descended on its plant in Bridgwater to disrupt supplies, in protest at the firms recent price cuts. It has reduced what it pays farmers by almost 4 pence per litre in the last 3 months, blaming global markets. Jeff Welch reports

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