Farmers For Action UK NI has given its backing to the young farmers across Northern Ireland who have been protesting for a better return for local farmers.
At their latest protest on Tuesday night at Lidl’s regional distribution centre at Nutts Corner, Co Antrim, one protester stated: “The protest was not only focused on dairy farms. It’s all about agriculture sectors – beef, lamb, cereals, pork, vegetables and milk. Every staple in the Northern Ireland agricultural sector is under pressure at this minute in time and we need help and we need it urgently.”
William Taylor, FFA UK NI co-ordinator, praised the bravery of the young farmers for coming out to make their voices heard.
He said: “The reality is that milk was the last commodity to give a return allowing farmers to pay their bills and this is now no longer the case.
“In short, this farming crisis is on the scale of the banking crisis across the UK and it is time to apportion the blame where it clearly lies.
“The UK farmers have suffered 20 years of increasing corporate influenced mis-management of agriculture by the EU and Westminster.
“Every move that has been made in recent years including the demise of milk quotas has suited corporate food retailers, corporate food wholesalers and to a lesser extent processors across the EU. This time action has to be taken by Brussels, Westminster and the Northern Ireland Government to address this food sovereignty crisis!”
Mr Taylor added that Farmers For Action are working with all the like-minded organisations that have rural UK and indeed rural Europe’s interest at heart and won’t stop this time until a proper sustainable solution has been put in place legally such as legislation on farm gate prices, stating that farmers have to be paid a minimum of the cost of production plus a margin inflation linked.