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WI throws its weight behind dairy price campaign
2:00pm Tuesday 24th July 2012 in Livestock
The Women’s Institute has added its might to the groundswell of consumer support for British dairy farmers today, calling for retailers, caterers and the rest of the food sector to ensure they pay a fair price for milk.
Leaders of the WI, together with NFU and NFU Cymru, made their voices heard outside the Asda stand at the Royal Welsh Show calling for the retailer to make a significant move on its price paid to dairy farmers.
The protest comes after almost two weeks of demonstrations against recent price cuts which have seen dairy farmers receiving a price for their milk which is less than it costs to produce it.
Marylyn Haines-Evans, chairman of the National Federation of Women’s Institute’s public affairs committee, said: “We are calling on all WI members – and the general public – to get behind our farmers, and we encourage members to ask retailers to step up to the challenge and take responsibility for dairy farmer suppliers.
“All parts of the supply chain, retailers as well as processors, have responsibilities here so we are asking everyone to shop with those retailers that we know are doing the right thing by British farmers and encourage others to engage in dialogue to stress this is a major issue for British consumers. “We are highlighting this issue at the Royal Welsh Show today because we have reached crisis point. All parts of the supply chain stand to benefit from maintaining a profitable and productive dairy industry, yet as we see time and time again, the balance is wrong. “The long-term viability of the dairy industry is being compromised and the WI is not prepared to stand by and watch this happen. Processors and supermarkets have held too much of the bargaining power for too long and action is needed to shake the supply chain out of the complacency that is defining the marketplace and readdress the balance.”
NFU President Peter Kendall praised the WI and welcomed their support. “The response from consumer groups such as the WI and from the public in general has been amazing,” he said. “Events and rallies have received support from people across the board who want to support British dairy farmers and understand that no business, let alone a farming business with livestock , can survive for very long running at a loss.
“We have started to see some positive moves by some retailers and this commitment to British dairy farmers is to be applauded. “However, we now need to see all retailers and major buyers of milk stepping up to the plate and we will start to turn the spotlight on the rest of the catering, food and retail sectors, including the discount supermarkets, who collectively buy sizeable volumes of milk and who I have written to and spoken with in the past few days.”
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