UPDATE: UK: Iceland agrees to talks amid dairy protests

By Michelle Russell | 3 August 2012

farmers are trying to claw back cuts reductions made in May

farmers are trying to claw back cuts reductions made in May

Iceland Foods has agreed to talks with UK dairy farmers after the retailer was targeted by a fresh round of protests last night.

Farmers protests in the last fortnight have succeeded in getting processors to postpone or decide against plans to lower their milk prices on 1 August. However, farmers are trying to claw back cuts made in May and have started fresh protests, targeting retailers.

Around 300 dairy farmers gathered at Iceland's Warrington depot in the north of the UK yesterday evening (2 August).

"We were happy to agree to meet a representative from Farmers For Action to demonstrate this is indeed the case," Iceland said. "Iceland is a major supporter of British milk and British agriculture, buying virtually all of its dairy products from UK suppliers, and we are committed to ensuring that both our suppliers and our customers get the best deal possible."

In a Facebook post ahead of the protest, Farmers for Action said: "We intend, along with our partners, to flush out the money that has obviously gone in to someone else's bank account and we will use every available avenue to achieve this by the deadline of September 1st 2012.

Farmers have protested about the price they receive for milk for over two weeks. The protests were prompted by plans by the UK's largest processors to cut prices from 1 August. Demonstrations were held at processor and retail sites.

Last week, Arla Foods, Robert Wiseman Dairies and First Milk withdrew plans to lower prices. However, Farmers For Action chairman David Handley said "nobody yet has come up with the money that was taken away in May and June".

A protest was also held last night at another UK frozen food retailer, Farmfoods. When contacted by just-food for its reaction to the protests, Farmfoods said it would not comment to members of the media.

Sectors: Dairy, Private label, Retail

Companies: Iceland Foods, Arla Foods, Robert Wiseman Dairies, First Milk

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