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by Tom Freeman
05 August 2015
Milk protest sympathy from Rural Affairs Secretary

Milk protest sympathy from Rural Affairs Secretary

Rural Affairs Secretary Richard Lochhead has said he understands why dairy farmers are protesting over the low price of milk at retailers.

Protests have been staged at supermarkets in Kilmarnock and Ayr this week over the price paid for milk, after 19 farms have said to have gone out of business in Scotland.

Similar protests have taken place across the UK.

Farmers say the cost of dairy farming have risen while supermarkets continue to pay low prices, resulting in a loss of up to £200 a day for some.

Lochhead called on buyers to be more transparent about the prices they are paying to dairies.

“I fully recognise the difficulties being faced by dairy farmers because of the low price being paid for milk and volatility on the global market.

“That’s why I am urging all retailers, food service and other buyers, big and small, to get behind our Scottish dairy farmers and support them in this time of need for the industry,” he said.

He said he understood why farmers needed their voices to be heard, and pointed to the Government’s new dairy brand to help push products on the global market.

“The public will understand the frustrations being expressed by farmers as it must be galling for them to witness massive promotion of imported cheeses, butters and yoghurts, whilst domestic milk secures, at best, a zero margin,” he said.

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