Hundreds attend FFA blockade
of Muller’s Market Drayton site
HUNDREDS of farmers protested against milk price cuts at Muller Wiseman’s Market Drayton processing plant last night.
Farmers For Action (FFA) members met at Market Drayton auction mart at 8pm before making the trip to the dairy plant to blockade the entrance.
Several lorries were prevented from entering the plant by the group, which FFA claimed via twitter had reached 1,000 in size by 11.30pm, although police said there was more like 300-500 there.
Speaking to Farmers Guardian at the protest, many FFA members agreed processors and retailers were taking advantage of market situations to cut farmgate prices.
Before the protests, the group was branded as ‘militants’ by Muller, which was one of a number of UK processors to announce further cuts last week, as it slashed 1.9ppl from its price to 27.1ppl.
FFA leader David Handley underlined the dangers of devaluing milk.
He said: “I think the problem is when you make something to cheap people become blasé about it. It becomes a throw away product.
“With the investment these people here have made and the assurances they meet, there is no way milk should be sold below the price of water.”
Mr Handley also claimed the protest was likely to be the first in a string of actions at UK dairy plants.
“We are not selecting Muller, we will be visiting everybody,” he said.
“When you see the media it has been on national news all day long.”
James Williams, a protestor who milks 150 cows in South Herefordshire, said: “Unless we do something and it happens very soon my family farm will be out of business.
“Month after month we are getting price cuts. We are selling under cost of production and there is no reason for it.”