Protests over milk prices to go on despite supermarkets offering price boost

Milk Trolley Challenge by disgruntled Lancashire dairy farmers at the Asda store in Blackpool. Organisers Jack Raby, left and Robert Mason.  Picture by Paul Heyes, Saturday August 08, 2015.
Milk Trolley Challenge by disgruntled Lancashire dairy farmers at the Asda store in Blackpool. Organisers Jack Raby, left and Robert Mason. Picture by Paul Heyes, Saturday August 08, 2015.
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Farmers across Lancashire are set to continue protesting over milk prices despite major supermarkets upping their prices.

Morrisons, Aldi and Lidl have all vowed to up their milk prices by nearly 10 pence but Garstang farmer and protest organiser Robert Mason says this is the “minimum” they should be offering.

“At the minute these increases are just words.” said Mr Mason. “We will see whether they actually do what they say but even then it only means getting paid what it costs to produce the milk.

That means there’s no profit for us and no money to put back into the farms. Ideally we’d need another few pence to give us some profit which would go back into what we feed the cows and the production of the milk.”

Mr Mason is part of protesting group Farmers For Action and says the supermarkets must do more. He said: “I think we’ve been quite accomodating with the supermarkets so far as every time they’ve said they’d meet with us we’ve stopped protesting. But I’m afraid if they fail to deliver on these promises then we’ll have no option but to go into their stores again and protest.”

In the weeks leading up to this decision, more than 50 farmers went into supermarkets around Preston and spoiled milk by taking it out of the refrigerator.

And Mr Mason believes it was these actions which “scared” the supermarkets to take action and says it is something they will do again if neccessary.

“I think going into the supermarkets showed them just how serious we are about this so we’re happy to do it again,” he said. “The simple facts are that if money isn’t coming back to the farmers, then we’ll be forced out of business and the nation will be without milk - which just can’t happen.”