Leeds dairy firm scraps plans to cut milk rate

Farmers protest against low milk prices at the ARLA Dairy, Stourton, Leeds.

Farmers protest against low milk prices at the ARLA Dairy, Stourton, Leeds.

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A LEEDS-based dairy company has abandoned its plans to cut the amount it pays to farmers following large-scale protests at its plant.

Arla Food, based at Stourton, has come under massive pressure after proposing to cut the amount it pays farmers for milk for the second time this year.

The cuts would have meant farmers who supply Arla would be paid a level which was significantly lower than the cost of producing it and were met with widespread-criticism.

Farming groups, celebrity chefs, MPs and even the Archbishop of York all condemned the move and Arla’s Leeds complex was twice targeted by large-scale protests from farmers in the past few days.

However the dairy firm announced last night that it would now abandon the planned cuts which were due to take effect on Wednesday, August 1.

A company statement read: “Following an unprecedented two weeks of activity within the industry, Arla Foods is able to confirm that having recovered money from its customers, and by increasing its non-aligned premium, it will no longer have to implement the planned August reduction in its milk price.”

Ash Amirahmadi, Arla’s head of milk procurement said: “I am pleased to confirm that Arla is in a position to maintain a standard litre price of 27 pence for non-aligned members of Arla Foods Milk Partnership.

“We have agreed a transparent reconciliation method with our customers and our supplying farmers to demonstrate that all of the money recovered from the marketplace has been paid out in full.”

National Farmers Union President Peter Kendall said: “Farmers, their families and shoppers have supported this campaign to see a fair price paid to our dairy farmers. It has been an amazing show of strength and support.

“There has been some fantastic work by a number of organisations and individuals on this issue in the past two weeks but we can’t – and won’t – take our eye off the ball.

“I believe only with all areas of the supply chain playing their part can we turn this situation around.

“I am committed to ensuring our dairy farmers have a secure future and we will continue to work extremely hard on the challenges that lie ahead.”

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