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Droitwich MP says he supports farmers' peaceful protests
2:00pm Tuesday 24th July 2012 in Local
DROITWICH Spa’s MP says further protests outside a Droitwich dairy plant would have his full support as long as they remain peaceful.
Two hundred farmers blockaded the Robert Wiseman Dairy, in Hampton Lovett, Droitwich, for four hours on Friday evening, (July 20).
Around 40 vehicles, including tractors and trailers were used.
The furious farmers then blockaded the milk processing plant for a second time on Sunday evening. The hastily organised protest went on into the early hours, attracting 200 placard-waving farmers who again surrounded the dairy.
Police say no arrests were made.
The farmers are angry over planned milk price cuts of up to 2p per litre, which four leading dairy processors - including Robert Wiseman Dairies - are due to start from August 1.
They say the move will mean many of them will end up making crippling losses on providing milk.
The protests were organised by the Farmers For Action (FFA) group, which arranged demonstrations across the country last week.
MP for Mid Worcestershire, Peter Luff, said he supported farmers’ protests, provided they remain within the law.
“I’m on the farmers side, we should be doing everything we can to help them,” he said.
“We need a viable, sustainable farming community and I’ve always thought it ludicrous we pay more for bottled water than milk.”
Farmer Michael Oakes, who farms on the Bourneville estate in Bromsgrove, said: "None of us are getting enough money to stay in business, we love what we do but this cannot carry on."
John Beattie, who has farmed for 43 years near Bromsgrove, said: “We’re at breaking point - we need help or farmers will have to completely change their way of life.”
On Monday, following talks, the Government announced broad principles of a deal between farmers and the processing firms was now in place - with both sides agreeing to sign up to a voluntary code of practice for milk contracts.
However, although the agreement has been welcomed by the National Farmers Union, it has not ruled out further protests.