Live updates

Dairy farmers 'staring into the abyss', union representative tells ITV News

A representative from a key farmers union has told ITV News dairy farmers are "staring into the abyss" at the beginning of 2016 after a key retailer said it was slashing the price it pays for milk.

The Chairman of the National Farmers Union dairy board Rob Harrison said it looked like being a particularly bleak year for dairy farmers and warned that the industry was in absolute crisis.

Meanwhile dairy farmers from another group are planning a march on Downing Streetas the row over milk prices deepens.

Advertisement

Dairy farmers feel "completely undermined" by supermarkets

Farmers from across the region will be heading to Somerset later to take part in a national protest about milk prices.

It's follows protests in supermarkets across the region this week.

They say they'll be targeting sites in Bridgwater and Yeovil in a demonstration against the price supermarkets pay them for every pint.

Dairy farmers like James Badman argue that the falling prices mean they have no other option but to take peaceful action.

Do you agree with the action they're taking? Have your say on our Facebookpage.

Somerset farmers to protest falling milk prices

Farmers will protest in Bridgwater tonight over a further cut to the price they get paid for milk.

The new drop in price means farmers only receive an average of 24p per litre of milk - which costs around 30p to produce.

This follows similar action in October, when farmers blockaded a supermarket depot in Bridgwater.

Tune in to ITV News West Country at 6pm tonight, when we'll be talking to a dairy farmer about what has prompted this latest protest.

Tonight's protest will be the latest in a long-running dispute. Credit: ITV News

The price of milk could drop even further

Some dairy farmers could get even less for their milk Credit: PA

Dairy farmers across the region were hit by another financial blow today - as it emerged many of them are to get even less for their milk.

It will affect farmers who have contracts with Dairy Crest to supply milk to Davidstow - the North Cornwall based creamery.

From 3 January - they will get 1.25p less per litre for their milk - that's just under 28p per litre. Last April they were getting around 34p.

Over the last few months the message from farmers here - is that they are struggling to break even. Some are even wondering if there's a future in the industry

We are prepared for worse to follow as we know that China has stopped buying hugely - the Russian ban has added insult to injury on that front.

And also we've had a brilliant year for production. Production has been racing ahead worldwide so you have supply and demand issues only likely to head one way as it stands.

– andy branton Dairy farmer

Advertisement

Cleaning product found in milk and cream

A Cornish dairy has withdrawn some of its products after a cleaning product was found in some of its milk and cream after customers complained about the taste.

Trewithen Dairy, based at Lostwithiel says a small amount of industrial strength cleaning fluid had contaminated the milk at one of its supply farms It said whole, semi and skimmed milk dated 25 and 26 August and liquid cream and clotted cream dated 26 and 27 August had been affected.

We are not aware of any danger to health due to the vast dilution of the liquid

– Trewithen Dairy

We are taking all possible steps and precautions and have reacted immediately with an instant withdrawal and replacement for product that may have been contaminated.

We know which customers have received these products and are now collecting and replacing anything at risk.

If any members of the public have purchased Trewithen Dairy products with the above dates over the last two days and would like a replacement, they should not hesitate in returning it to their retailer who will provide a replacement.

We apologise profusely for this unfortunate error and can confirm that this issue has been contained within these products so that our yoghurt, butter, crème fraiche and buttermilk are not affected.

– Managing director Bill Clarke, Trewithen Dairy

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.

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".

Load more updates