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12th-Aug-2015

British farmers declare 'crisis' after milk price protests

By AFP, London


British farmers declared a "crisis" Monday after days of protests over falling prices that saw milk removed from shop shelves and cows walked up supermarkets aisles. Farmers' unions held an emergency summit on Monday over low milk and meat prices, in a bid to ease the plight of producers as global good prices drop.
"Obviously the industry is in crisis. There's despair within our members," said Meurig Raymond, president of the National Farmers' Union.
"I've been farming for 45 years and this is the worst I've known, particularly the dairy sector and the lamb sector." The average price paid to farmers for a litre of milk is just under 24 pence ($00.37, 00.34 euros), a drop of 25 percent in a year, while farmers' unions estimate it costs between 30 and 32 pence to produce.
In protest, farmers have descended on supermarkets to buy up their entire stocks of milk in outlets of Morrisons, Asda and Lidl, and have blockaded distribution centres.
Over the weekend, about 70 demonstrators herded two cows into a branch of Asda in the central English town of Stafford in act of protest.