NW producers vote for milk federation
By Jeremy Hunt
THE FORMATION of a national organisation representing milk producer groups and co-operatives – with the likely title of the Milk Producers Federation – has been proposed by north-west dairy farmers.
A meeting at Reaseheath College, Cheshire, brought unanimous approval of a new national body from 28 milk producer groups and co-operatives representing dairy farmers from Cheshire, Lancashire, Shropshire and Cumbria.
An approach has already been made to a well-known figure in the farming industry inviting him to chair a national producers association.
"Once we have someone to head this federation we will hold another meeting in the north-west and invite representatives of all producer groups and co-operatives in England and Wales," said Cheshire dairy farmer Keith Holland, Bank Farm, Marbury, Whitchurch – chairman of the countys milk committee and a prime mover behind the concept.
"We need to move quickly if we are going to establish a new national body and get it working immediately. The next meeting could take place in early June."
The idea is expected to win national support from other producer groups – there are believed to be a total of 37 operating in England and Wales. An official launch of the new federation could be held at the Royal Show in July.
"The financial crisis within the milk industry has to be addressed urgently," said Mr Holland. "The current marketing structure is a major weakness and dairy farmers are suffering the brunt of it. A national body would create cohesion among producers and enable them to act with more clout."
It is proposed that a new federation would include representation from NFU, CLA, RABDF and YFC.