Farming unions and Farmers for Action to meet Morrisons as supermarket price wars drive down milk prices

 
Catherine Neilan
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Dairy farmers are not amoosed (Source: Getty)
Dairy farmer groups are meeting with Morrisons bosses today as the two groups attempt to solve the ongoing dispute over milk prices.
The meeting – which a Morrisons spokeswoman played down as “a cup of tea and a chat between a couple of people” - comes on the back of a week-long demonstration by dairy farmers, which included a human blockade of a Morrisons' distribution centre as well as several protests outside supermarkets in which farmers bought up all the milk and gave it away for free.
Other protests included taking cows into supermarkets.
Farming unions including the National Farmers' Union and lobby group Farmers for Action have now put together a plan of action, and are calling for supermarkets to offer long-term contracts for farmers.
Farmers for Action has asked its members not to target Morrisons as talks have been agreed.
A Morissons spokeswoman said: "We are disappointed with the disruption being caused to our stores and our customers. We recognise that the current issue is being caused by a reduction in global demand for milk that has led to an over-supply in the UK and very difficult conditions for many dairy farmers.
"We want to reiterate that we are not seeking any further reductions in milk prices and we will continue our talks with the NFU , in a constructive manner, to finalise our agreed plan of action.”
The NFU has also called on the government to address the matter, saying ministers “need to admit that something has gone fundamentally wrong in the supply chain and take remedial action”.
“Government needs to take action to ensure that contracts to all farmers are longer-term and fairer in apportioning risk and reward. At the moment in many contracts all the risk is put on the farmer with very little of the reward.
“Government also needs to urgently ensure that rules are put in place regarding labelling so that it is clear and obvious which products are imported and which are British. We are all looking for government to ensure that British products are marketed abroad and that new markets are opened up for our high quality British food.”

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