BURTON’S MP came out in support of dairy farmers as he waded into the row over controversial cuts — dismissing the Government-led agreement as a ‘short-term win’.
Andrew Griffiths also encouraged shoppers to ‘vote with their feet’ and stay away from supermarkets who had refused to increase their premiums.
Many protests have been held in the region over the last few weeks by dairy farmers furious at cuts to the amount of money they will be paid by milk processors — changes that come into force tomorrow.
The broad principles of a deal to provide farmers with more bargaining power have been agreed after the Government held talks with farmers and processors.
Mr Griffiths said: “There are three elements to this. First of all I am really encouraged that the campaign has gained so much public support and forced many supermarkets to abandon their unfair 2p cut in the price they pay for milk.
“However, this is a short-term win and we need a proper code in place to give a fair deal to Staffordshire dairy farmers so we do not have a repeat of this exercise in a few months.
“Thirdly, I would urge shoppers to vote with their feet and support a supermarket that is paying a fair price for milk.
“Also, I would urge them to buy other British dairy products rather than imported ones. A third of butter people buy and half of cheeses are imported from overseas.
“There are equally good products that not only support British dairy farmers but the supply chain that manufacturers them.
“If they did it could make a huge impact on the profitability of British dairy farmers.”
Farmers For Action vice chairman Andrew Hemming insisted the group would not stop protesting until the controversial cuts were overturned.
Asda, The Co-op and Morrisons were quick to increase the amount of money that they paid to their farmers in a bid to ease the pressure being put on them by protesters.
Milk processors blame the fall in the price of cream for the cuts and argue they cannot afford to pay farmers any more money.