Ribble Valley MP demands help for struggling dairy farms

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Ribble Valley MP Nigel Evans has called on the Government to get behind a 12-point charter he has produced to keep the UK dairy industry alive.

The former Commons deputy speaker wants action in Westminster to protect farmers from going out of business due to a slump in milk prices.

Speaking during a debate in Parliament on the future of dairy producers, Mr Evans called for supermarkets and wholesalers who pay less for milk than the cost of production to be named and shamed. He also demanded more support by the banks for hard-pressed farmers.

He said: “This is a time of deep uncertainty for many farmers, as they have seen huge volatility in the price that they receive for milk over the past three years.

“The dairy industry is vital for the United Kingdom. Whether the cause is Russian sanctions, the reduced Chinese market, or simply an over-supply in the market after a very good year last year, the fact is that the price for milk on some farms is now way below the cost of production.

“I have produced a charter for the British dairy industry, which I hope the Government will get behind. I hope this debate helped highlight the issues they face and I am committed to continuing my support for dairy farmers.

“The industry is the backbone of rural Britain and it is vital it is protected. Dairy farmers in the Ribble Valley need to be able to get through this difficult time.”