Today Anneliese joined Labour MEPs to lobby the EU, UK government and consumers to act to ensure that dairy farmers in the UK get a fair deal.
Farmers across the South East are struggling to deal with the significant fall in price they receive for the milk they produce. This is forcing dairy farmers, both in the South East and in the rest of the UK to leave the industry.
Anneliese said “I recently met with representatives of the National Farmers’ Union, and heard how the falling price of milk has hit dairy farmers hard in the South East. I am calling on the UK government to take action to ensure dairy farmers receive fair pay for the milk they produce. It is unacceptable that British dairy farmers are being forced out of their jobs, and in the long term, this will not benefit consumers either, as we could easily become reliant on milk imported from outside the EU, where the high standards we expect of food safety and animal welfare are not guaranteed.
Paul Brannen MEP, Labour's lead on agriculture and rural development, said: “It is simply not fair for a dairy farmer to be paid less for a litre of milk than it costs to produce. We must collectively and speedily inject fairness into the relationship between dairy farmers, processors, supermarkets and, importantly, customers.
“We want to see more powers given to the Groceries Code Adjudicator, whose role it is to ensure there is fair play between British food processors and retailers, so she can take action across the supply chain. We also want the UK government to write to the banks encouraging them to be as supportive as possible of dairy farmers during this difficult period, including making loans available.”