Question asked in House of Commons regarding need for fair milk prices for North Yorkshire farmers

The desperate plight of dairy farmers was raised by Kevin Hollinrake, MP for Thirsk and Malton, in the House of Commons this morning. During Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Questions several MPs discussed the dairy industry. Mr. Hollinrake asked,
“In North Yorkshire in the last 15 years we have lost 50% of our dairy farmers and 90% of those still in business are losing money despite generous tax payers’ subsidies. Does the minister agree now is the time for supermarkets to pay a fair price to British farmers for British milk?”
In response George Eustice, Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Minister, said “These are difficult times for farmers.” He raised the point that “at the root of the problem is a worldwide issue of low commodity prices” and that this is “a global challenge”. He referred to the dairy industry in New Zealand as an example. The minister did say that credit should be given to those supermarkets that have taken action including offering farmers aligned contracts. However he ended his reply by saying “we are always trying to improve the position of farmers in the supply train.”
Local representatives from the NFU and farmers from the Thirsk area met their MP in Parliament earlier this week. They joined him in a meeting with Neil Parish MP, Chair of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee.
Mr. Hollinrake will continue to discuss those issues affecting the agricultural industry in his constituency with colleagues in Westminster and work to help producers and growers get fair prices for their commodities.
“Supermarkets and others corporate purchasers of British milk have a responsibility to treat their suppliers fairly. This clearly cannot be happening when it costs 23p/litre to produce milk and the farm gate price is 20p or below. I will continue to press for a better deal in Parliament and directly with the milk buyers.”