Insane ‘wars’ squeezing dairy farmers out of existence

The government could ease the plight of the dairy sector by getting behind the EU’s plans to change milk contracts, according to NFU president Peter Kendall.

Speaking during the opening of the NFU conference, Mr Kendall urged DEFRA secretary Caroline Spelman to get behind the commission’s proposals to change contracts and rebalance the bargaining power of farmers.

“It is not a panacea by any means but it is a much needed step towards stopping the exploitation of so many dairy producers and their families that is happened right now.”

Mr Kendall said it was not right that milk producers were being squeezed out of existence by the “insane processor-retailer wars that are being waged”.

“Something’s got to be done. The EU says something’s got to be done,” he said.

Responding to a series of questions about the milk sector from farmer delegates Mr Kendall said that heads needed banging together.

Mrs Spelman admitted that the state of the dairy sector was something that kept her awake at night.

Read more NFU Conference coverage 2011