OT UK Dairy Farmers Protest Plummeting Milk Prices

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Dairy farmers are protesting over plummeting milk prices and warning that the British "pinta" is under threat.

Their protest coincides with a new report into dairy farming which says the price paid to farmers is at its lowest for three decades.

The National Farmers' Union claim the numbers of dairy farmers leaving the industry could result in Britain being unable to meet its annual requirement of 13 billion litres of milk. Over the last four ears, 16% of the UK's dairy farms ceased production while in the last twelve months, 5,067 dairy farmers and farm workers lost their jobs.

Todays report "Crisis Dairy Farming" says: "British dairy farming is facing meltdown. The crisis fflicting the whole of agriculture continues but the situation facing dairy farmers has deteriorated even further over recent months. The average farmgate price for milk in real terms is at its lowest since records began in 1970, having fallen by a third over the past three years. Farmers take home a mere third of the total value of the price paid by consumers for a pint of milk."

More than 100 farmers from all over Britain are bringing their protest to the Houses of Parliament. NFU president Ben Gill said: "British dairy farmers set world standards of excellence in milk production - quality tests consistently put us among the best in the world. Yet we are paid less for each pint than anyone else in Europe, not even enough to cover production costs

The falling price of milk is not being passed onto the consumer, with prices for a bottle of milk averaging 34p. Mr Gill added: "We are trying to help ourselves out of this crisis but we need help from the Government and the rest of the food chain. British dairy farming is facing meltdown."

-- viewer (justp@ssing.by), March 15, 2000


In Australia deregulation of the dairy industry is in vogue resulting in lower prices for the farmer who then needs a larger herd and more from his land. By placing a pressure on the system we are seeing consolidation of farms with non-viable farmers leaving, in many cases departing interstate. This places strains on the rural demographics like schools and other services.

This phenomenon comes to a place near you courtesy of global re-arrangements. You are now just a consumer, a level-playing field game-number. Welcome friends..., join us in poverty...

-- Pieter (zaadz@icisp.net.au), March 15, 2000.

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