More than 700 dairy farmers packed into Haydock Park Racecourse in Lancashire on Wednesday night (11 July) for a mass rally organised by the North West NFU to debate the milk price crisis and call for a re-instatement of the 2p/litre cut by 1 August.
The meeting reflected the intense feelings among the region's dairy farmers that their businesses are being forced to operate unprofitably and below the cost of production.
"Dairy farmers are not going to let this drop. They want the 2p/litre price cut reinstated by 1 August, the withdrawal of the proposed 1.7p/litre cut, immediate discussions to create Producer Organisations and a workable code of practice to safeguard their businesses," said the regional NFU's press officer Carl Hudspith.
One long-standing NFU official at the meeting said the milk price issue had triggered the strongest reaction he had ever seen among dairy farmers.
But there was also concern expressed by many dairy farmers that if the milk price was increased by 2p/litre to take it back to pre-April levels, it may defuse the situation and remove the urgency for reform that was vital for the long term future of their businesses.
"Dairy farmers are not going to let this drop. They want the 2p/litre price cut reinstated by 1 August, the withdrawal of the proposed 1.7p/litre cut, immediate discussions to create Producer Organisations and a workable code of practice to safeguard their businesses."
Carl Hudspith, NFU
"Dairy farmers at the meeting were clearly determined not to allow the momentum of their campaign to be undermined by the 2p/litre being put back on the price. The shopping list is clear - the 2p/litre back, no further cuts, a new and constructive dialogue on producer organisations and the creation of a code of practice.
"Everything has come to a head and dairy farmers are now determined and committed to seeing this situation resolved once and for all for the long term good of the industry," said Mr Hudspith.
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