23 August 2002

Milk producers ponder action over price cut

FARMERS were considering a legal challenge to Meadow Foods 1.9p/litre price cut backdated to July 1, at a meeting in Cheshire last night (Thursday).

As farmers weekly went to press, it was estimated that about 100 milk producers supplying Meadow Foods (formerly Bodfari) would attend the meeting where solicitors would give their opinion on the proposed legal challenge.

Mark Tripney, farm manager with Leverhulme Estate, which milks about 480 cows on the Wirral, said: "We have sought legal advice and this weeks meeting will enable farmers supplying Meadow Foods to hear the opinion of solicitors.

"Meadow Foods has told us that we, as producers, do not have a divine right to make a profit from milk; that they will not reinstate the guaranteed price agreement; and that they will not allow producers to seek a premature termination of their supply contact."

At last weeks emergency meeting farmers requested that the processors board of directors reduce the six months release clause to three months and that it reinstates the July milk price.

They also want the board to uphold a price agreement, which had been in operation for the past two quota years. &#42