MP raises farmers’ plight

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Local MP Corri Wilson has highlighted the difficulties faced by many local dairy farmers as the crisis over the farmgate price for milk continues to cripple the dairy industry.

Taking part in a Westminster debate last week, the MP for Ayr, Carrick and Cumnock called on the UK Government to urgently amend the remit and powers of the Groceries Code Adjudicator, who currently oversees the trading relationship between the big supermarket chains and their suppliers.

The MP said that while few dairy farms sell direct to the supermarkets, the current remit is of little use when looking at the price farmers are getting for their product.

The Adjudicator is also unable to impose any penalties on retailers who breach the Code, rendering the role as toothless.

Ms Wilson said: “Ayrshire is synonymous with dairy farming, but our farmers are in jeopardy as the current milk price crisis is threatening the livelihoods of many across the region.

“As milk prices have gone into freefall over the past twelve months, many farmers are unable to cover their production costs.

“It costs around 28 pence to produce a litre of milk, but farmers contracted to supply a particular milk processor are only getting around 22 pence.

Many farmers here in Ayrshire are getting as little as 14 pence per litre. This is clearly unsustainable.”