19 July 2002

More milk price protests to come

DAIRY farmers have vowed to step up protests against low milk prices after disrupting production at five major dairy plants.

Farmers for Action demonstrators and NFUmembers picketed plants owned by dairy giants Wiseman Dairies and Dairy Crest last Thur, Jul 11.

Organisers estimated that around 60 protesters blockaded each plant, preventing vehicles coming or going between 9pm and midnight.

Wiseman dairies at Manchester and Droitwich, Worcestershire and Dairy Crest sites at Chard in Somerset, Davidstow in Cornwall and Hamworth in London were targeted.

The farmers have threatened to intensify their campaign unless the dairies increase the farmgate price of milk by 3ppl.

Leader David Handley said: "The protests went very well. We stopped all deliveries and departures for three hours and there was no confrontation with police."

Unless the companies said they were prepared to return the money they stole in July, action would escalate, he said.

A spokesman for Wiseman said the demonstrations caused "a minimum of disruption".

He said the latest round of cuts were forced by competitors and that over the past six months Wiseman had paid farmers an average price of 17.5ppl. &#42

Low milk prices spark protests.