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Thursday, 19 September, 2002, 14:14 GMT 15:14 UK
Stores pressed on milk prices
Protesters make their point outside the Asda depot
Protesters make their point outside the Asda depot
Farmers have stepped up their protest at the low prices they receive from supermarkets for milk used to make dairy products.

About 400 farmers took part in a non-disruptive demonstration at the Asda distribution centre in Grangemouth.

The National Farmers' Union in Scotland (NFUS) said its members were being forced out of business and that shoppers should know where their money is going.

But the supermarkets have countered that the price they pay for milk has already increased.


Producers are going out of business because the price they are receiving for their milk is not covering the costs of producing it

Jim Walker
NFUS president

Last week, the major supermarkets announced they would pay an extra 2p per litre for milk sold in bottles and cartons.

The NFUS said the average cost of producing a litre of milk was 19p.

Farmers receive 15p while processors and the large multiples take most of the 45p to 50p retail price, according to the farming union.

There are 1,800 dairy farmers in Scotland and the NFU said their livelihoods are being threatened because the majority of milk sold goes into making other products like butter and cheese.

Farmer talking to police at demo
Farmers are angry at the milk price

Jim Walker, president of NFUS, said: "Dairy farmers are at their wits' end.

"Producers are going out of business because the price they are receiving for their milk is not covering the costs of producing it.

"The major supermarkets sell a kilogram of their own brand standard cheddar cheese for approximately 4 whilst buying in at only 2.

"For every pack that is sold at that price, the farmer loses 30p and the cheese processor loses 25p."

Supermarkets insist farmers are benefiting from the recent price increase and that they are prepared to listen to the industry's concerns.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
Gillian Marles reports
"This could be the first of many demonstrations"
See also:

28 Aug 02 | Scotland
17 May 01 | Scotland
17 Mar 00 | Scotland
01 Feb 00 | Business
24 Mar 00 | Scotland
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