A young Welsh milk producer, facing the prospect of having to sell his dairy farm, has travelled to Whitehall to show politicians and a Tesco representative his accounts.
“They were sympathetic,” said Jonathan Owen from Pigeon Farm, Hope, in Flintshire. “But they could not make any promises about future milk prices, and sympathy will not pay my bills.
“I made it clear to them that I will be forced to quit dairying if producers do not get a new regulatory body that can set fair prices within six months.”
Trip to london
He explained that he ran 80 milkers on his county council smallholding and had sunk everything he had into the business. Despite working 15 hours a day he only gets 15p/litre for his milk.
On the Farmers Union of Wales-organised trip to London he met his MP, Mark Tami (Labour, Alyn and Deeside), Daniel Kawczynski MP, chairman of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Dairy Farmers, and Emma Reynolds, Tesco’s head of government affairs. He was accompanied by FUW president Gareth Vaughan and milk committee chairman Eifion Huws.
“Everyone I met gave me a good hearing, but I was disgusted that DEFRA officials, who claim that average milk prices are far higher than they are in reality, turned down my MP’s invitation to meet me.”