Fear milk price cuts will shut South Lakes dairy farms
Last updated at 16:56, Monday, 16 July 2012
SOUTH Lakes farmers say the latest planned cuts to the price of milk paid to diary farmers could put many out business.
Several major milk processors have announced cuts of up to 2p per litre – meaning farmers will receive less than it costs them to produce the milk.
Stuart Webster, who has a herd of 140 cows at Aurora Park Farm in Scales, said: “We are going to be about £40,000 a year worse off.
“What makes them think my family can stand to take a knock like that?
“We have been not making money for a while now and we were just starting to breakeven.”
Mr Webster, 49, said farms of all sizes are under threat of closure from the price cuts.
He added: “It is stupid that bottled water is dearer than a bottle of milk.
“The supermarkets have got the processors to go into a bidding war and force the price of milk down.
“And they knock it off us because we are the easy target.” Steve Morris, who has around 150 cows at Wraysholme Tower Farm, between Allithwaite and Flookburgh, said: “I know for a fact it is going to put some people out of business. And I just put a new milking parlour in – I borrowed a lot of money for it.”
Mr Morris said previous cuts have meant he has struggled to afford to buy food for his family in the past.
He said: “You should not have to work seven days a week and 12 hours a day just to feed your family.
“My farm has been going for 100 years and this is the worst year we have had.
“My son wants to take over this farm one day and I just hope there is something left for him to take.”
At a meeting of the National Farmers’ Union on Wednesday farmers gave the processors until August 1 to reverse the cuts or face industrial action. Mr Morris said: “They are talking about pouring milk away and then there will be shortages.
“We are not trying to cause trouble and hurt families – it is not their fault.
“We just want to be able to make a living.”
Andrew Pye, NFU Ulverston group secretary, said: “There is no price written into most contracts which means the farmers really are in a poor negotiating position.”
Tesco, Sainsbury’s and Asda all say they pay their farmers above the market rate.
First published at 16:11, Monday, 16 July 2012
Published by http://www.nwemail.co.uk
Have your say
Make your comment
More Ulverston news
- Pledge to spend £7m on upgrading Sandside school in Ulverston
- Fitness fans forced out of Ulverston centre slam new venues
- Councillor criticises 'moronic' rules of Ulverston street market (14 comments)
- Ulverston dad takes on marathon task to raise £20,000 for charities
- Queuing traffic on A590 in Ulverston
- Ulverston school to open as usual today after gas leak fixed
- South Cumbria Master Chef semi-finalist proves he is a serious contender
- First snow of the year falls in South Cumbria
- Ulverston mansion developer’s plans hit the buffers over homes scheme (13 comments)
- Unforgettable day as South Cumbria Guides mark 40th birthday milestone
- Judge overrules Ulverston supermarket decision (44 comments)
- Police traffic warning ahead of Ulverston Dickensian Festival
- Ulverston faces wait for new recycling service
- Ulverston supermarket: Decision could be made this week (7 comments)
- Ulverston families have to make 20-mile trip to registrar (5 comments)
- Woman pushed down stairs in Ulverston Train Station attack (1 comment)
- Ulverston 'flying rodents' outcry (7 comments)
- Heart of Ulverston nomination form
- Police investigate multiple vehicle crime in Ulverston
- Passengers injured in A590 Ulverston bus crash (1 comment)
- Community rallies round to save ‘vital’ Ulverston health centre bus (1 comment)
- Ulverston flood fears warning (1 comment)
- Barrow dad headbutted partner while she held their child
- Dangerous Ulverston criminal fails in jail term appeal
- Hospital trust including FGH Cumbria pays out £3m in four years over poor care