DAIRY CREST has taken precautionary steps to protect its Severnside plant in Gloucestershire after warnings that it might be picketed by protesting farmers.

“We haven‘t put any fences up or any particular security measures in place yet, but we have started to prepare for such moves,” said Sinead Noble, head of Dairy Crest‘s corporate communications.

Ms Noble emphasised that the threat of picketing did not come from Dairy Crest‘s own producers.

Conversations between Dairy Crest and Farmers for Action this week (w/e June 25) have failed to satisfy the campaigning group.

FFA chairman David Handley told FARMERS WEEKLY that farmers were getting ready for demonstrations against Dairy Crest at the beginning of next week (w/e July 2).

Meanwhile Northern Ireland Farmers for Action has started to target supermarkets.

The group demonstrated outside a PLC supermarket in Coleraine on June 17 and asked consumers to take their shopping elsewhere until PLC was prepared to direct money down the food chain for the benefit of the food producers.