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Supermarkets “renege” on milk price deal – LibDems

[Tuesday 22 September 2009]

According to an angry speech made at the Liberal-Democrats annual conference yesterday, the supermarket chains have once again reneged on agreements to pay dairy farmers a reasonable price for their milk.

Twice in the past, urged on by the environment department Defra, the supermarkets have increased their prices for milk, usually at a time when hundreds of farmers were being forced out of dairy.

Last year, the industry showed some signs of recovery but according to LibDem environment spokesman Tim Farron the price has slumped by a third this year.

The supermarkets, he claimed, are “abusing their power,” forcing more farmers out of business just at a time when there were growing food shortages throughout the world and “food security” in the UK had become a high priority in future Government planning.

In a move which will please many livestock farmers, the supermarket giant Tesco has agreed to accurately label the source of any meat used in ready meals like pies and sausages. Until now, such items could be labelled as British produce if they were prepared here, even if the meat came from Eastern Europe of even Thailand.

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