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‘Yorkshire based companies must pay Yorkshire farmers a fair price’ - Mulholland

July 25, 2012 1:12 PM

Member of Parliament for Leeds North West Greg Mulholland has today called for Yorkshire farmers to be given a fair price for their milk by Yorkshire based companies, following protests by dairy farmers that have taken place across the country, including at the Arla processing plant in Leeds. Farmers are protesting against the declining payments to dairy farmers by the four major milk processors.

Protests by dairy farmers have continued across the country, protests that were sparked by news that four major milk processors, Robert Wiseman Dairies, First Milk, Dairy Crest and Leeds based Arla Foods UK will be cutting the price paid to farmers by up to 2 pence per litre (ppl) effective 1st August. This is in addition to previous cuts that were announced in June, which now mean in some cases dairy farmers are making a loss of up to 11ppl.

Greg welcomed news from the weekend that three supermarkets, Leeds based Asda, Yorkshire based Morrisons and the Co-operative, have agreed to increase the amount they pay to dairy farmers for the milk they produce, but insists more must be done to ensure farmers across the board are paid a fair price for their milk.

Greg has called on Leeds based Asda, along with Yorkshire based Morrisons, to take on board the cost of production models used by Tesco, Sainsbury's, Marks and Spencer and Waitrose, which they have so far shunned

Greg Mulholland MP commented:

"It is deeply concerning that Yorkshire based companies, including Arla Food UK are continuing to exploit Yorkshire farmers by paying dairy farmers less than the production costs for the milk that they purchase. Something must be done to address this before dairy farmers in Yorkshire are forced out of business.

"It is a welcome first step from Leeds based Asda and Yorkshire based Morrisons who have committed to increasing the price they pay to dairy farmers for the milk they produce, however, it is vital more is done to make sure that Yorkshire farmers get a fair price for the milk they produce to ensure they are able to earn a reasonable living to cover the cost of production and to feed their families. I am therefore calling on both these famous Yorkshire retailers to go further by taking on board the cost of production models used by Tesco, Sainsbury's, Marks and Spencer and Waitrose"

"I will be working with farmers and other producers in the constituency to ensure that they get a fair price for their produce and are not exploited by the power of the large supermarkets, who are able to drive down prices in order to increase their own profits."

END