Milk farmers end Derbyshire Dairy Crest blockade

Protesters at Dairy Crest in Foston
Image caption The farmers gathered at the plant on Wednesday afternoon

A blockade by farmers at a milk processing plant in Derbyshire over declining payments to dairy farmers has ended.

About 200 farmers who have been at Dairy Crest's factory in Foston since Wednesday have now left the site.

There have been protests around the UK over the amount of money farmers are paid for milk.

A Dairy Crest plant in Stonehouse, Gloucestershire, was also blockaded on Wednesday night.

About 45 farmers used tractors to block a road near the factory.

'Blaming one another'

The National Farmers Union said cuts in the price paid to suppliers, combined with rising feed costs, could force hundreds of farmers out of business.

The protesters used tractors and farm machinery to stop vehicles entering and leaving the processing plants.

One of the farmers at the Derbyshire protest, Paul Rowbottom, said: "All they have got to do is give some of the profit back to us.

"I'm annoyed at them because they've got the money to give it back. They've only got to talk to the supermarkets and they are all blaming one another."

A Dairy Crest statement said: "Dairy Crest understands the pressure our dairy farmers are under and are doing what we can to support them.

'Customers inconvenienced'

"This includes cutting our own costs, improving our contracts with them and putting a floor under the price we pay them which guarantees that prices will not reduce further this year.

"We are pleased to say that some of our larger customers have already agreed to support our farmers with additional payments.

"We are working through the details with them and representatives of our farmers and will ensure that all monies collected will be passed back to farmers."

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