SOS DAIRY joint NFU/FFA meeting Thursday 11 october at 8 pm at Market Drayton Auction Centre,Shropshire.

Please come along and hear the latest news on UK dairy prices, etc., Come and share your views on the current situation with NFU President Peter Kendall, FFA Chairman David Handley and their dairy teams.  It is very important we get a large turnout so we can plan our next moves in terms of milk pricing and other issues.


Milk prices continue to rise for October and November from the majority of milk processors but consultants are telling us loud and clear the prices quoted are still not where they need to be for a sustainable dairy sector.  Therefore FFA will continue to pressurise retailers and milk processors for more announcements on December 1st.  To achieve this we will need the continued support of our dairy farmers throughout the whole of the UK.  With higher milk prices we also have to be very careful that we do not put the UK dairy industry in an uncompetitive position within the global market as there are many other countries who now have a lower milk price and their processing industry are very keen to take UK market share.  Therefore FFA believe we have to be very careful on our milk pricing and we have to become innovative  in the way we market our products to maximise the return needed urgently by UK dairy farmers.



Most dairy processors have now moved farmgate prices from October 1st. Some have been bold enough to quote forward prices from November 1st, so where are we now.
According to FFA’s calculations most dairy producers are 0.4ppl better off than they were in April 2012. This obviously is not where we need to be. Most retailers and processors including middle ground retailers, food service industries must surely be aware of the current cost of producing a litre of milk in the UK in these exceptional circumstances. Therefore FFA intend to increase the pressure on all these bodies to get further substantial increases not only for November but December of 2012. We are also conscious that we have to manage dairy farmers’ expectations. To go forward UK dairy must be competitive in the world market as well as our own domestic. On liquid milk we do not envisage a problem reaching prices in excess of 32pl. But we are concerned of the impact that this will have on cheese and other dairy products enabling our processors to compete with other global companies. Therefore it is imperative that FFA keep talking to the processing industry to find innovative ways in which we can pay our dairy farmers the price required to produce a litre of milk but that we don’t impact on their ability to grow their businesses, after all no milk - no processors. No processors, a big problem for dairy farmers.

Dairy Coalition

The dairy coalition continues to work tirelessly on behalf of all its individual members. As FFA we are continually in dialogue with our coalition partners on issues such as how we progress with producer organisations, how we can achieve a formula that takes cost of production into farmgate milk prices, and many other things associated with dairy farming.

We have signed up to work together for at least another 12 months and it is FFAs hope that at the end of this period we will have some form of template to make UK dairy both successful and above all profitable.

For FFA to continue all this work we do need membership, without money we are limited in our abilities to work on dairy farmers’ behalf. Please, if you are not a member join up, surely £40 to enable us to work for your future is a small price to pay.
Membership forms can be obtained off our web site www.farmersforaction.org.


A series of meetings with milk processors has taken place this week, one has been positive, one is showing some interest in attaining a milk pricing formula and the final meeting gave very little.


We met with Arla this week, had a very robust meeting over the issues that concern dairy farmers at the moment which is - when will they see extra money on their milk cheque?. The representatives were very non committal on this issue. We also pressed them on a formula for the way forward on milk pricing and at all stages they appeared to shy away from anything to do with farmer cost. The question was asked where the money from the May/June cuts went, we did finally get them to admit that certain bodies recovered some of the money. We will continue to pressurise Arla on the above issues.

Paynes Dairies

This was a very interesting meeting, again the same issues on the agenda and there were a number of ideas shared by this processor and ourselves on how we achieve a sustainable milk price for dairy farmers. Talks with this processor will continue over the coming weeks to find a solution.


A very forthright meeting was held on Thursday evening with the CEO of the above processor and some positive views were exchanged from both sides. This company has stated quite clearly it is prepared to work on a formula in respect of milk pricing that will include dairy farmers’ costs. This will be started as early as next week and both sides of the industry will work tirelessly to get this process to the table as quickly as possible. On the issue of May/June price cuts, they are still finding it very difficult to recover money from the market place but we put to them they have days and weeks not months to find money to put in milk cheques as soon as possible. Our members cannot continue producing milk at this low level price. They have promised us they will give it their full attention and we have agreed to keep in regular dialogue.

Coalition meeting today, Friday 24 August 2012

An excellent meeting, the coalition remains firmly committed to our promises made from the very beginning of our formation and the main aim for this current month is to find the money that went missing in May and June and to continue to work to find solutions to the future of the dairy industry.
We will keep you updated.


The Women's Food and Farming Union have created a Milk Prices Survey Form which can be downloaded here


Open Letter from AFMP Chairman Jonathan Ovens

FFA to meet with Arla executives on Tuesday 21/8/12 to discuss crisis in dairy industry


“AFMP shares the coalition’s concerns regarding the current situation that dairy farmers find themselves in , a combination of escalating feed prices, extreme weather, and dairy commodity values being at a low point in their cycle, leave producers facing the forthcoming winter from an unprecedented position.

AFMP is committed to working to mitigate the impact that this combination is having on dairy farmers”.

See above press statement from Arla Farmers Milk Partnership who obviously share the same concerns for UK dairy farmers and European dairy farmers in this critical situation faced by the industry. What we now need is a clear signal from all milk processors that they are going to address the above situation with the utmost urgency.

Farmers For Action will continue to work with all organisations who are committed to getting the European dairy industry back in profit. That means not only working with our fellow UK dairy farmers but also working with our European counterparts to make sure that the milk processing industry pays dairy farmers at least their cost of production that has within it profit. Within the UK FFA and the coalition set a deadline of the 1st September for monies that were removed from milk cheques in May and June to be reinstated by September 1st. Our message is loud and clear, time is running out. To avoid further protest by dairy farmers not only here but now with the help of our European partners, all companies need to start delivering, not just issuing press statements that mean very little.

During this week progress has been made with a number of dairy companies who now appear to be recognising the current crisis. We now need to build on that in the form of money in our milk cheques.

FFA will not consider cost of production formulas that have bolt-ons by milk processors containing comments such as market related, etc., etc., Your profits and margins are your problems not ours. We just produce the raw material to the highest standard you require, you just need to pay a fair price for it that allows dairy farmers a return on their capital invested labour employed as with any other business.

Dairy UK – a number of noises this week have been coming from this organisation that FFA’s campaign is trying to fix market prices, this is completely untrue. At no time have we said that milk prices should be fixed. We strongly believe in market forces working, but fairly so that all in the supply chain can make profit. We would suggest before Dairy UK makes disparaging comments in relation to our campaign or even run to the OFT, perhaps they should talk with FFA who are also very willing, if required to discuss their current campaign with anyone at the OFT.

We, unlike the milk processing industry or the retail sector, are totally transparent and honest. Just dairy farmers trying to save an industry.

Low prices paid to farmers will achieve one thing – lower supplies of milk with the effect of increasing imports of dairy products into the UK. A fair price would ensure a good supply of milk to UK milk processors for them to be able to go out into the big wide world and sell our quality product at competitive prices, that is if they are prepared to take a little out of their margin rather than take everything off UK dairy farmers.



Phase Two is well under way. A meeting of the coalition yesterday clearly showed everyone is 110% committed to delivering on the undertaking given at the beginning of the campaign.

As everyone should now be aware, Phase Two is all about recovering cuts that were made in April, May and June. We intend along with our partners, to flush out the money that has obviously gone in to someone else’s bank account and we will use every available avenue to achieve this by the deadline of September 1st 2012.

This will involve going back over old ground so the big 4 retailers and 3 largest processors needn’t think they are all off the hook. They need to come clean very quickly and explain where the money from the cuts went and what it was used for. If they have any morals or ethics this should come easily, if not someone’s backside will get kicked and hard.

To the middle ground, discounters and food service industry, you too need to come clean very quickly to avoid disruption to your business. Again we say to you, show us you have morals and ethics and contact members of the coalition as soon as possible.

To the Government and all the devolved partners, you too have a responsibility in this dire situation UK dairy farmers are now facing. You have all recently made statements regarding what you intend to do; we will hold you all to that.


WISEMAN, MULLER have today rescinded the threatened milk price cut for the 1 August 2012. Farmers For Action welcome this announcement but it does not go far enough to deal with the current crisis faced by dairy farmers. With announcements this week of major retailers and milk processors either adding money into the industry or with the processors Dairycrest and Arla and First Milk rescinding their threatened price cuts, David Handley, Chairman of FFA says “this sends a very strong message regarding unity in the dairy industry. The united coalition group together with united dairy farmers, supported by the media and general public, have taken us up the first step towards a sustainable dairy industry, for the future of the next generation of dairy farmers”

The coalition will now meet again early next week to plan the next part of our strategy which is to find the money that was taken off dairy farmers in May/June 2012. We wish to ensure all dairy farmers, we will work tirelessly to achieve this and also to strengthen the coalition that it becomes the only body necessary to put in place the structures to take the dairy industry forward in future years.

And finally we would like to thank all the farmers and their families and the ancillary industries that have sponsored and supported the first leg of this campaign to turn our marvellous dairy industry around. A finally a huge thank you to the general public and the media but we are sure over the coming weeks and months we will require all your continued support.

26.7.12 !'DAIRYCREST! 

All Dairycrest milk protests have been called off immediately following talks between FFA, the rest of the coalition and Dairycrest.  Statement will be issued by Dairycrest shortly.  All energy will now be concentrated on the other companies and these protests continue - see you all tonight

West Wales bus leaving Carmarthen Mart at 5.45 pm Please ring Nigel Batten 07785 924007 to book your seat

This is an urgent call.

 East Anglia please go to Dairycrest, Fenstanton Cambs  PE28 9LG  NOW whatever your profession we now need you, even if you can only spare an hour or so.

Gloucestershire/Wilts Dairycrest, Stonehouse GL102DG we need you there this afternoon. Any  Tractors, foragers, lorries available inbetween harvest, whatever,

Also Dairycrest, Fenstanton - had them shut all night (and yesterday from 12 noon), the guys there desperately need reinforcements so that some can go home, again please help if you can.

Any heavy equipment, not just agri machinery would be greatly appreciated at this sites.  TU.



SOUTH EAST  meet at Sutton Scotney Services, SO21 3JY  North Bound A34 at 7.30 pm.   Contact Bruce Horn 01489 877365, 07966674846/Peter Parkes 01293 785095, 07710273044 for further details.  Anyone travelling West-East please ring Bruce.

SOUTH WEST Sedgemoor, Bridgwater TA4 6DF 9 pm  Ring James Badman 07967124745, Mark Evans 01404 44989/46306, 07866267189, \West Wales Nigel Batten   07785 924007 David Handley 07711194947.Coaches again from West Wales.

SHROPSHIRE - Market Drayton 8 pm Contact Paul Rowbottom 07973188279, Tom Houghton 07540704887

NORTH WEST - Meet 9 pm - Ring Stephen Britton 07801902137, Stephen Frankland 01765 676262/07933389237, Andrew Bebb 07811779557 for further details.

WORCS  -  Droitwich  WR9 OLW - Meet 9 pm, Contact Andrew Hemming 01564 782926/07966519444.


Some fantastic pics of the protest atDairycrest, Foston, Derbys this pm. Little kids riding their pedal tractors have managed, with some help from the grown ups, to close the Dairycrest factory for the day.  Go to our facebook page  and look for Rod Kirkpatrick on the wall as can't seem to get his direct link onto this page.

We would once again wish to thank Heather Morse for arranging the coaches from West Wales and especially to Lloyds Animal Feeds for sponsoring the two coaches. 


Ready to go Thursday night  meet up at Bellshill Ind Est,Bellshill , Lanarkshire ML4 3JA  7 pm Contact J Cumming 017760820324,07743664306


More details will be posted this pm of further venues, please come back.


Three more massive protests last night. Mkt Drayton, Lutterworth & Leeds.   Reports coming in that milk supply is now being affected. Plenty of pics and videos on Twitter  @farmers4action.

Report from Leeds here


Music, BBQ and lots of protestors at Wiseman, Droitwich  last Sunday   This is how FFA do it, and did'nt they do it well

24/7/2012 -  ASDA finds more!

ASDA miraculously finds another 2ppl to add to its farmgate price for milk.  Although we welcome this further increase which takes their litre price to farmers to 29.5ppl, we still require them to commit that this money will be linked into a cost of production formula so that they can never again pull the price back.  This now allows us to put pressure on all of those remaining in the industry who are still purchasing milk substantially below the cost of production.  We also still require all the milk processors to tie in to a cost of production formula to rescind the threat of a price cut from 1 August and to reinstate the money they stole since April 2012.  Until they and others meet this request the campaign continues to escalate.

Stop Press - !ASDA!

Through their lawyers, Eversheds, Asda are threatening legal action against various  FFA co-ordinators.  They have tried this on once before, in 2010, went to Court and it was thrown out.   Whilst this will prevent the named people being seen organising  various actions, we obviously have plenty of people in the background who will move forward, so the action will still continue as usual  against Asda.  For those reading this page if you use Eversheds for your legal work, perhaps a rethink is necessary.

Furthermore, there are strong rumours circulating that disgruntled Asda producers are going to mount a massive campaign against Asda, commencing tonight 24 July, targetting their distributions centres and superstores, the message being that they are not prepared to accept Asda not paying at least the cost of production for their milk ie 30ppl.  Further information will be posted throughout the day, but in the meantime please contact an   FFA Co-ordinator in your area or e mail secretary@farmersforaction.org


What a disgrace that a company with a Royal Warrant ie Dairycrest are selling milk via their door step deliveries at 66p a pint (£1.16 a litre) whilst the dairy farmer gets just 14p a pint (24.6p a litre).  Therefore producer's share of door step price just 20%.  Shameful.  I think it is time Her Majesty and The Prince of Wales reviewed the Warrant.23/7/2012


BBC Radio Wales atTheRoyalWelshShow, Debate on milk crisis with David Handley. Starts 3.47 minutes in from beginning http://www.bbc.co.uk/i/b01l3181

Market Drayton photographs last night here  Droitwich last night here

Well, another night of mass support for the dairy campaign.  All peaceful but effective.  Bridgewater, Market Drayton and Droitchwich, many new faces.  Support is escalating, especially from general public who are fully behind our fight for a fair price for our milk.  Chelmsford tonight with Pete Parkes 0771027344 and new Asda opening in Inverness to get our full attention 9am onwards with Steven Innes 07801373106. 

For those who are contacting us regarding action in their areas, please be patient, we have our strategy and will soon be in a town near you! Keep watching.

Meanwhile, David Handley and coalition meeting with Jim Paice at Royal Welsh Show today, am sure Mr Paice will get a rousing Welsh welcome!


SOUTH EAST Protest Monday 23/7/12 Meet White Hart Lane, Chelmsford, CM2 5PA at 8.30 pm. Contact Pete Parkes 07710273044

New Protest Venue added - Market Drayton, Wisemans tonight Sunday 22/7/, ring Paul Rowbottom 07973188279/David Bradbury 07949221757  8pm

21/7/2012 PROTESTS TOMORROW 22/7/12

S/West meet Sedgemore Livestock Centre, TA6 6DF Junct 24, M5 at 8 pm
Contacts: Som: James Badman 07967124745
Devon: Mark Evans Tel 01404 44989/01404 46306 Mob 07866267189
West Wales: Nigel Batten Tel 01834 842699 fax 01834 842788 Mob 07785 924007
S Wales: David Handley 07711194947

Midlands - Droitwich Andrew Hemming Tel/Fax 01564 782926 Mobile 07966519444

21/7/2012 BREAKING NEWS - Morrisons move up 5ppl

Great turnout last night Droitwich and Foston, consumer support FANTASTIC. Excellent pics on twitter @farmers4action and Facebook. New page coming shortly for consumer information, price breakdown, where to buy etc.,

20/7/2012 http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-18934717

20/7/2012 - FFA would like to thank Heather Morse of/and Cowindale Feeds, Carmarthen  for laying on and paying for the coaches from West Wales last night. Thats whats it all about, everybody involved in the industry pulling together. Thank you very much Cowindale Feeds.

20/7/12 - ITV Daybreak - yet another ill informed MP regarding farm subsidy, as we all know dairy farmers do not receive a direct farm subsidy, it is linked to the land. I'm sure she will be educated in the coming days and weeks.

20/7/12 - What a brilliant, well organised protest last night at three venues. Our FFA co-ordinators did a fantastic job, the guys down in the SW headed by James Badman together with Mark Evans had well over 70 tractors plus foragers - Nigel Batten brought 2 coach loads from West Wales, so pleased that their long journey well worth it. Yorkshire headed by Stephen Franklin also had a great turnout as did Andrew Hemmings and Tom Houghton in Ashby.
At last got the eye of the media, sure there are many who did'nt get much sleep, if any,last night. Now we can pump it up, more venues to be visited in following days. Watch this site join in interactive chat on Twitter: @farmers4action and also on  Facebook . We all know we have got to win this one.

19/7/12 MILK PROTESTS- Further meeting places Thursday 19/7/12

South East - House of Fraser, Bluewater Car Park, DA9 9ST

!STOP PRESS! - South West - there will be a hog roast for all you hungry campaigners.


MILK PROTESTS Thursday 19/7/12

South West – meet Sedgemore Livestock Centre, TA6 6DF Junct 24, M5 at 8 pm
Contacts: Som: James Badman 07967124745
Devon: Mark Evans Tel 01404 44989/01404 46306 Mob 07866267189 
West Wales: Nigel Batten Tel 01834 842699 fax 01834 842788 Mob 07785 924007
S Wales: David Handley 07711194947

Midlands – meet Hallmark Tractors, Ashby de la Zouche LE65 2ue AT 8PM
Contact: Andrew Hemming Tel/Fax 01564 782926 Mobile 07966519444 AT 8 PM

Yorks – meet The Bridge Inn, Walshford LS22 5HS AT 7.30 PM
Contact: Stephen Franklin Tel 01765 676262 mob 07933 389237

If you require any further details secretary@farmersforaction.org


At last noises appear to be coming from milk processors with regard to our demands but until we have a deal on the table, which is money back and no more cuts,
pressure and action will continue commencing this week as previously stated info will be available from Wednesday.


Action will take place on current milk price issue at at least two areas within the UK. We will not disclose the information until Wednesday am when hyou will be given a post code to show the meeting point. It is imperative that the action be peaceful and to our best ability within the law (see code of conduct) as this is just the start. It is our intention, along with our coolition partners to ratchet up the pressure on both retailers and processers in the next 10 days. Any further information contact your local FFA co-ordinator or your local NFU office.

16/7/12 - Co-op Dairy Policy


12/7/12 - Again, well done everyone getting to Westminster, for those who are contacting us with disappointment that there wernt told at yesterday's meeting what they were to do and to everyone elese inthe dairy industry just keep following our web site plus NFU - NFU CYMRU - NFU SCOTLAND - RABDF where we will make sure our plans will be made available. To all those who were unable to attend yesterday can you please notify your organisations in whatever way you wish that you will be ready to take action from 1 August.

11/7/12 - 3,500 attend Dairy Crisis Summit pics, David Handley gets standing ovation so does Mrs Youliette Parkes, wife of SE FFA co-ordinator, Peter. http://www.flickr.com//photos/45211192@N07/sets/72157630527279778/show/

2,000 plus dairy producers to descend on Westminster today to highlight the milk price cuts


Please sign following E Petition - http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk

Dairy farmers must be paid more for their milk
Responsible department: Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
The UK Government must do more to protect the interests of British dairy farmers. The low price of milk is forcing extremely hard working farming families in to poverty and increasing the dependence on antibiotics used with animals that will have a devastating affect on the industry. If the price of milk is not increased soon then the UK will suffer a shortage of supply and thus pay more in the long-term.

This is trending on Twitter at the moment.

9/7/2012 Call to arms over latest milk price cuts.

All dairy farmers need to get themselves into London on Wednesday 11 July 2012 at The Westminster Hall, Westminster for 12.30 pm. Contact your local NFU offices as they are arranging coach transport. It is imperative that we all are there to lobby Jim Paice, the Agricultural Minister over the current crisis in our industry.


Listen to David Handley on http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b01kblt7/Farming_Today_06_07_2012/ re upcoming disruption to milk supply


Today FFA call on all milk processors to reinstate all price cuts that have taken place since 1 April 2012.

They have until 1 August 2012 to confirm that this will be done, if not they will need to nofity their retail customers that milk distribution will be seriously disrupted.

2/7/2012 MILK PRICES

Well here we are back again with falling milk prices.

Following calls from a number of large scale dairy producers, it looks as though FFA will need to take to the streets again. The radar is clearly showing it is the usual culpruts starting with non other than our friends at Tesco and Asda. Why Tesco? Wiseman says the latest price cut is due to falling cream prices yet we all see the tv advert where our friends at Tesco are giving cream away free. Our friends at Asda continue to discount dairy product, which then influences what happens within the whole middle ground sector. It is now down to dairy farmers, if you wish to sort this matter out support the action, or if you are one of the clever ones who can produce milk at these prices, please share it with us so we can pass it on to your fellow dairy farmers. Remember the saying, 'united we stand, divided we fall', that should be very clear to everybody including our fellow farmer representatives.

No milk today, the cows have gone away,                                                    the milk price didn't pay, they all went yesterday :(