Pirate FM News

Cornish Dairy Farming Crisis

milk bottles

Published by the Pirate FM News Team at 7:02am 29th September 2012

Pirate FM has learnt the number of Cornish dairy farmers has halved in 14 years.

It comes after months of protests over cuts to milk prices ended in a voluntary code of conduct between producers, dairies and big stores.

Mark Oliver farms a herd of five hundred cattle at Lanhydrock.

He is worried youngster are being put off the industry: "Some of these farms have been in the families for generations. Farming is a strange occupation in that it's more than just a job, it's a way of life, and to give up a farm, to give up years, decades of work is very tough.

"It is a real concern at the moment. Across Cornwall, it is hard to find staff and it's hard to see enough young people coming into the industry who can really take on the challenges and enjoy the experience of being a dairy farmer as well."

Ian Johnson from the NFU in the Duchy wants to see MORE action: "We need dairy farmers to take control of their own destiny more. We need them to form producer groups to join together to give them more strength, we need them to be perhaps more vocal.

"The market and the dairy industry is broken. Nobody really knew what was going on and who was getting what. You've got these middle men who can't really explain or account for the fact other than the fact that the people that they're selling to say they're not prepared to give them any more."

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