Ribble Valley MP Nigel Evans has written Christine Tacon CBE, the Groceries Code Adjudicator in the wake of escalating concerns about the price paid for milk to dairy farmers by large retailers and with four farming unions having met for an emergency summit in London amid a “crisis” over milk prices.
The unions were bringing to public attention the concerns of farmers across the UK who are selling milk at a loss of 10p per litre in some cases.
In his letter to the Groceries Code Adjudicator Mr Evans said: “You will be aware that dairy farmers are the backbone of rural Britain and I hope that you will agree with me that the current situation cannot go on, with the number of dairy farmers below 10,000 for the first time in the UK.
“I wrote to George Eustice MP and led a Westminster Hall debate on this subject in February where I proposed the introduction of a milk levy, to be added to the price of milk and go directly to the producer and not the retailer. This would ensure that price wars between supermarkets do not unfairly impact dairy farmers.
“I am certain that consumers are happy to pay farmers a fair price for milk, and with some retailers paying farmers well below cost, the time for action is now.”
Speaking from Westminster Mr Evans added: “Some dairy farmers in the Ribble Valley are selling their milk far below cost and thereby subsidising large retailers. This situation is totally untenable and I have therefore asked Christine Tacon to take urgent action.”