More than 50 MPs have signed an Early Day Motion calling for action to ensure that farmers receive a fair price for their milk.
The motion was tabled by Labour MP for Chorley Lindsay Hoyle, but has drawn support from all the major parties and from members from both urban and countryside constituencies.
Signatories have called for the government “to work with the supermarkets and the dairy farming sector to promote home-grown produce and ensure that farmers receive a fair price for their milk”.
It follows a sharp slump in milk prices over the past 12 months, which has prompted some farmers to take the difficult decision to exit the industry.
According to the most recent Defra figures, the average UK farmgate price stood at 24.59p/litre in April – 8.69p/litre lower than the same month last year.
However, this figure masks the fact that people on direct supply contracts with the retailers are still getting about 30p/litre, while many others are on A and B contracts receiving significantly lower prices.
The full wording of the EDM is as follows: “That this House recognises the important role dairy farmers play in supplying dairy products to consumers; highlights the high-quality dairy products which are supplied by local farmers and the benefits that dairy produce brings to providing a healthy, well-balanced diet; expresses concern at the way in which dairy farmers face pressure from the major supermarkets on reducing the cost of farmgate milk prices; and calls on the government to work with the supermarkets and the dairy farming sector to promote home-grown produce and ensure that farmers receive a fair price for their milk.”