9:12am Thursday 12th July 2012
By Jessica Cree
EAST Lancashire farmers have attended emergency meetings to discuss falling milk prices which could ‘decimate’ the industry.
Around 40 Lancashire farmers went to London for the summit organised by the National Farmers’ Union.
The meeting was at Central Hall, Westminster, with 2,000 dairy producers nationwide heading to the capital to voice their concerns.
Over 600 North West farmers attended a similar meeting at Haydock Racecourse, near Wigan.
Research carried out by Kite Consulting found it cost around 30p to produce a litre of milk, which is bought by supermarkets for 25p.
It means farmers make a 17 per cent loss on each pint they produce, totally an average of £50,000 a year.
Eric Dowson, farmer at Hawkshaw Fold Farm, in Clayton-le-Dale, said: “We went to London because we wanted to make our concerns very clear.
“This round of price cuts and the last round are so damaging to the dairy industry that they will make it uneconomic to produce milk.”
Mr Dowson, whose wife runs Mrs Dowson’s Ice Cream, in Longsight Road, said that rising production costs were also putting pressure on farmers.
Graham Young, chairman of the National farmers’ Union in the North West, said: “At the moment, there are three farmers a week going out of business and if it continues there will be an exodus from the industry.”
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