The bitter row over the price of milk could result in more farmers protesting in Shropshire over the coming weeks, campaigners warned today.
The cost of milk production has risen to a new high and Farmers For Action said it ‘cannot rule out’ more blockades at Market Drayton’s Müller Wiseman Dairy if the firm is not prepared to discuss another increase in the price it pays to farmers.
Farming chiefs have said the coming week ‘will be crucial’.
According to the National Farmers Union, farmers are now paying around 31.5 pence to produce each litre of milk, but they are selling it to dairy firms for only 29.5p per litre.
It comes at the end of a summer of mass protests, during which the Market Drayton dairy was blockaded three times.
Paul Rowbottom, the Farmers For Action representative in Market Drayton, said: “We will be talking to the processors to try and get the milk price up again, if they are willing to talk there will not be any protests.
“I think companies are more open to talks now and they are short of milk so we are in a better position.” Relief farm worker Dave Pugh said he would join any protest that was arranged.
A Müller Wiseman spokesman said: “The whole supply chain remains under pressure but Müller Wiseman has taken a lead by announcing a record increase in its standard milk price as recently as last week.
“We are working constructively and productively with representatives of the dairy farmers who supply us and we will continue to meet our commitment to pay a competitive, leading milk price.”