Farmers won't be fooled by ploy says Shropshire chief

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Shropshire's farming union chief has said dairy farmers will not be fooled by "devious plans" from supermarkets.

Richard Yates, chairman of Shropshire NFU, said while he welcomes plans from Morrisons to bring in a brand of milk to support farmers, they will continue to fight for the industry's future.

It comes after the supermarket chain announced plans to bring in a four-pint brand of milk called Milk for Farmers. Farmers supplying Arla will receive 10p per litre, and the new product is set to hit the shelves in the autumn.

Mr Yates said: "I welcome any extra revenue into our devastated dairy sector. But this may be a marketing ploy by a supermarket to get farmers off their backs.

"But trust me, we will not fall for any devious plans to throw us off the scent. I notice that they are asking the public to pay rather than themselves – Morrisons are not putting themselves out much."

It comes as it emerged struggling dairy farmers across Britain are seeking ways to sell milk directly to customers. Farmdrop, an online service that connects local farmers with customers, has seen a 700 per cent increase in farmers registering to sell their milk directly to consumers since the start of the year, according to reports.

The online marketplace, which was set up in 2013 by a former Morgan Stanley stock broker, says it passes dairy farmers 80 per cent of the retail cost of milk compared to an average cut of around 50 per cent they currently receive from supermarkets.

British farmers are receiving an average 23.6p per litre of milk this year, 25 per cent below the rate they received last year. Farmers unions calculate the cost of production is about 30p per litre.

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