Milk price crisis meeting gets backing

A Jersey cow at Airfield Estate. Pic by Paul Sherwood
A Jersey cow at Airfield Estate. Pic by Paul Sherwood

The Northern Ireland milk price crisis strike meeting set for this Monday (November 14) at The Glenavon Hotel, Drum Road, Cookstown at 8pm has the full support and participation of Fair Price NI, Holstein UK, Northern Ireland Agricultural Producers Association (NIAPA) and Farmers For Action (FFA).

This meeting has been arranged under a Northern Ireland Farm Groups heading and organisers say the support of other Northern Ireland farm organisations is most welcome.

Northern Ireland Farm Groups have jointly issued the following statement: “After the news this week that Dairy UK (Northern Ireland) has blocked future engagement with the Ulster Farmers’ Union over its criticism of the failure of processors to pass on better milk market returns to farmers, the contempt and arrogance that milk co-ops must now have for their producer members is totally unacceptable and should result in co-op farmer board members requesting their co-op withhold levies for now.

“We in Northern Ireland Farm Groups on the current farm gate milk price issue extend a warm welcome to the UFU, where a place on the platform will be available in Cookstown on Monday night, for them to put their case alongside the current members of NI Farm Groups on an equal basis. UFU members and all dairy farmers are most welcome as a united front to this unprecedented onslaught of abysmal producer milk prices must be shown!”

The agenda for the meeting is as follows:

The current true cost of milk production – how it can be achieved and maintained – each organisation will give their take on the issue. Also for discussion is a call for forward notification of milk prices three weeks before payment as happens within the rest of the UK

The pros and cons of a Milk Strike to be debated

A vote will be taken to secure support for the joint proposal that processors give at least three weeks notification of the following months milk price.

An advisory vote will then be taken at the end of the meeting to decide whether to strike thereafter if no successful engagement with processors occurs.