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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

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A Cornish dairy has withdrawn some of its products after a cleaning product was found in some of its milk and cream after customers complained about the taste.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

Dairy farmers protest again over milk prices

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

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.

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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 Westcountry 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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