Chefs support action on milk price

JAMIE OLIVER and Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall have thrown their weight behind the NFU’s SOS Dairy campaign calling for action on the current milk price crisis.


The pair today issued a joint letter to The Times saying they are “shocked” that many British dairy farmers are receiving less money for their milk than it costs to produce it.


The crisis has seen the NFU lead a coalition of dairy farmers and industry to a summit in London with a second meeting of the dairy coalition planned for the Royal Welsh Show on Monday (July 23).


This will take the debate to Wales amid concerns that additional price cuts coming down the track will make dairy farming in Britain completely unviable.


In the joint letter Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall and Jamie Oliver said:


“Milk is a brilliant food but we have all lost sight of its value. We pay more for bottled water than we do for milk […] how mad is that?


“Dairy farmers can’t take industrial action. Their daily commitment to their herd makes it impossible. How cynical of retailers to take advantage of this. It’s time supermarkets stopped used milk as a loss leader.”


The NFU is leading a coalition of organisations calling for price cuts intended for August 1 to be scrapped and for price cuts which have already impacted to be rescinded. Last week thousands of farmers turned up in London for a debate on the issue.


The coalition is also supporting demonstrations which have seen hundreds of farmers and supporters protest outside supermarkets and dairy processors this week.


Supermarkets have argued that they are not the ones that the protestors should target, suggesting that caterers, manufacturers and the Government might not be paying fair prices.