Dairy farmer protests loom in the UK as milk production slumps by over 10%

Dairy farmer protests are looming in the UK as milk production figures show a dramatic fall off in production on UK farms.

Farmer representatives Farmers for Action and the Tenant Farmers Association are calling on retailers and processors in the to ensure that dairy farmers receive a fair share of the recent uplift in milk prices.

Farmers for Action Chairman, David Handley said “whilst we are seeing a reasonable distribution of returns within the liquid market, profits from the higher prices in milk powder and fats are not being passed down to farmers who have suffered major losses over the past two years and who desperately need their fair share of the return that the market is now delivering.

“Processors and retailer are holding back from returning fairer returns to dairy farmers and that is unacceptable.

“Unless we see an urgent change we will have no option but to take our protests to the doors of those retailers and processors who are most to blame,” he warned this week.

In 2014, farmers in the UK have protested outside Adam’s Food – an Ornua owned company – over what they said was ‘cheap’ imports of cheese being brought in from Ireland.

Meanwhile, the most up to date statistics on UK daily deliveries for the two weeks ending July 16, averaged 37.2m litres/day, 4.2m litres/day (10.2%) lower than the same period last year. Daily deliveries for this period were 2.4m (6.0%) lower compared with the 3-year average.

According to the most recent Defra figures, the average UK farmgate price stood at 19.85ppl in June. This was a 0.47ppl (2.3%) decrease on the May average price. The June 2016 price was 3.90ppl (16.4%) lower than the same month last year.

Meanwhile, the Northern Ireland (NI) average for May was 17.66ppl, a decrease of 0.50ppl (2.7%) compared with April. The May price was 3.21ppl (15.4%) lower than the previous year.