Morrisons have today contacted David Handley and a discussion took place regarding recent activities that have been taken place around the country regarding Morrisons reluctance to bring money for cheese to the table.

It has been decided between both parties to hold a meeting on Tuesday 1 September with both Morrisons and the NFU in respect of the current crisis in the dairy industry. The meeting has been scheduled for 10 am on Tuesday morning and Morrisons have been left under no illusion that it is not a meeting just to talk, we have to come out with money for hard pressed dairy farmers. We strongly hope that progress will be made but please all stay close to your phones and computers as the outcome of the meeting will be posted asap after the meeting.

Here at present is next week's Agenda

Tuesday 1 Sept - Morrisons
Wednesday 2 Sept - Co-op and hopefully Asda on on the lamb issue.
Further meetings are to be held with both Iceland and Farm Foods and
several food service companies.



We have as yet had no telephone call from Morrisons. Saying that they decided to go to the NFU and told the President due to the pain we caused them last night/early this morning they are going to the Home Office! They also told the NFU that due to our protest vast amounts of perishable food will have to be discarded. So in fact what they are saying is that perishable food items in their Distribution Centres is very near its end date.

Dairy farmers deal in a perishable food product and have to sell it for what is offered to them, we don't have the luxury of storing it until the price is right, so in a way what goes around comes around as dairy producers will soon be forced to discard their milk
as many are losing 15ppl and more just to produce.
Their cows will go, ok the younger animals will get sold on but the older ones, even though they are fit and healthy and still producing quality milk and would have stayed on the farm for several years yet, will go to slaughter as nobody will want them. We all have favorites in our herds and many families will be broken by this.

So Morrisons, is why can the discounters such as Aldi and Lidl, whose stores are also full of British beef, pork and chicken, come to the table and agree to pay farmgate price for their milk, as have Nisa, but Morrisons will not?


**SPECTACULAR** that is what we saw last night at Morrisons,  Bridgwater in Somerset. For everyone who took part and got there so quickly ,as this call did not go out until yesterday lunchtime, a huge thanks to you all.

To James Hole and his team, you did a great job under great pressure from the Police Officer in charge.

North West you also did a great job at the Co-op up in St Helens and thanks to Tom and Mike once again for all the time and effort that went into this.

To our customers, the general public, a happy August Bank Holiday, we will still keep producing top quality British produce for your plate 7 days a week, 365 days a year.

Retailers all we want is a fair price, and for you ALL to stop discounting our produce, and finally food service sector we will be knocking on your door very shortly.

We will keep you all updated as and when we can.


Following our meeting with Asda last week, they will be promoting all British lamb in 9 North Wales stores in September. Farmers support will be most welcome as this promotion moves to South Wales in Oct and Nov and it includes promotion of all out of balance cuts which starts this weekend.

All lamb burgers and mince will be 100% British (there will be no NZ/UK lamb packs anymore) . They are launching a new British loin product in Sept and are carrying out a Walk The Chain event for the farmers who were at the meeting last week. That is being arranged for Dunbia Preston and the Asda website has been changed and all issues surrounding NZ lamb have been removed.


TOM HOUGHTON 07540704887


Good news just in, Nisa have now agreed to pay farmgate price. So well done to everyone involved in the Nisa protest, and many thanks to Nisa for taking the initiative and appreciating that UK dairy producers need a dramatic price increase to sustain their businesses.


Open Dairy Meeting - Thursday 27 August at NWA Junction 36 Rural Auction Centre, Crooklands, Cumbria, LA7 7NU. The meeting starts at 7.30pm.
This is a fully open meeting and all dairy farmers are encouraged to attend and find out what is being done by the three organisations to safeguard the future of dairy farming in the UK. The speakers will be as follows:
• Rob Harrison, Chairman, NFU Dairy Board
• David Handley, Farmers For Action
• Stephen Wyrill, Chairman, Tenant Farmers Association


Once again, many, many thanks for all those who turned out last night, in cars and with tractors, machinery and cows, another very large gathering in both areas.

Presently we are awaiting a progress report from Morrisons today on the issue of cheese and on Wednesday there is a conference call where we are to expect the final outcome.

We are hoping this will be positive but if not plans are already in place to deal quickly with a negative result.


CONTACT Mike Jones 07789818186 For North Wales
and Tom Houghton for NW 07540704887

7.45 FOR 8 PM
CONTACT James Hole 07971254652/David Handley 07711194947




Well done to all those involved a very successful evening, meetings will now be arranged with Nisa management on milk price issues and also to try and persuade them driving our wonderful products to the bottom is not going to be accepted by British dairy farmers any longer.


Again this meeting was attended by FFA and local producers of lamb from the area who met with Asda and its supplying Abattoir This was a very robust meeting where everyone had the opportunity to air their views and we discussed a number of initiatives, the first one is to find a way very quickly of getting money into the sheep sector then we looked at a number of suggestions to try and get medium to long term stability within the UK sheep market. A deadline has been set for Wed of next week when we will reconvene with Asda to hear what conclusion they have arrived at and what they can do to help struggling sheep industry.

To everybody involved in the process of driving prices up keep up the action again praise to new initiatives that the young farmers have come up including the milk challenge You are all doing us proud, your conduct is impeccable and enthusiasm is infectious.

Further protests are e going to be required within the food service sector and other retailers, if you have any ideas please share so that we can make sure they are directed at the right people and not those who are already in negotiation . To help with this process here is a list of those who are currently in talks:-

Asda, Tesco, Morrisons, Nisa, Aldi, Lidl, Iceland The only one in the food service sector is Brakes so we still have plenty to go at and over the next week will try and point everybody in the right direction.

Meetings are being arranged with milk processors to ensure that all monies being paid get to milk producers in full. Beware any processor that doesn't want to come to the party I am sure several thousand farmers will be very quickly on your doorstep.

Congratulations to Arlaa who in a week when many other milk processors have dropped the price again, have held their milk price and are very bullish about the market going forward both here and in Europe. I am sure other processors will get the same praise as Arla once we start to see them passing money back to hard hit dairy businesses. To that end I would say to all of them you need to be in with all of your customers now demanding a minimum farm gate price of 28ppl so that this industry stands a chance of surviving the oncoming winter period when remember your factories still need the milk. No excuses, no global excuses just get out there and get the money out of the supply chain and back to the people who need it.

Finally, congratulations to FFA South West contractor members , Bartletts from Dorset who have made the final in Farmers Weekly 'Contractor of the Year' competition. Also to all the other contractors who support our protests not only in the South West but all over the country for without your contribution in bringing the tractors and machinery, plus the publicity that goes with it, our job would be very difficult indeed, we owe you a huge debt.

This is no time for ease and comfort. It is time to dare and endure (Winston Churchill)


Meet Ripley 7pm, Ferrybridge Services J33, M62 WF11 0AF 7.45pm
Target NOT Asda, Arla or Tesco but will be announced at meeting place
Contact Stephen Frankland 07933389237
Important as many people as possible attend so show your support for Stephen we know you have been itching for this Yorkshire!


Those present David Handley, FFA - Michael Oakes, NFU

A very, very positive meeting with Tesco. We shared a lot of views on what is happening currently within the industry and we have requested Tesco address
four issues:-

1 Cheese that is bought from First Milk and South Caernarvon Creameries is bought at a minimum farm gate price of 28ppl

2 Continuing on from dialogue we held with their previous Agricultural Manager, that all milk sold in their One Stop Shops carries the red tractor logo.

3 Their cheese has to carry a single country of origin label not multi country origins

4 That their own brand yogurt is made with British milk (currently German)


On their yogurt they gave us categorical assurance that by March 2016 all their own label yogurt will be made with British milk The reason for the slight delay is obviously contractual issues with their current supplier.

They have agreed to go away to discuss all the other issues and we will reconvene the meeting on the 2nd Sept.

To all supporters of the Working Group we would ask you to avoid protesting in any form at Tescos while these negotiations are continuing.

David Handley is today meeting with ASDA at Denbigh with the North Wales Sheep farmers to try and resolve the issue going forward of New Zealand lamb and to try and find a formula that avoids this happening during next year's season.


Update on last night's action

Firstly a massive thank you to everyone who turned out at last night's protest at Tesco and Farm Foods both at Avonmouth and Widnes. An even bigger thank you to all those people who travelled up to 3 hrs on tractors and who really drove home the dire situation this industry is in.

Tesco protest lasted approx 3 hrs and at that point Tescos agreed a meeting with the Farmers For Action on Wednesday of this week. We will keep you posted on the outcome of the meeting as soon as we come out we will try and get a post up so all those who attended last night can hear the outcome.

We then moved on from Tesco to Farm Foods DC. Farm Foods on Saturday had been visited by farmers in the Staffs/Derby area in the form a Trolley Challenge. I understand from the organiser reception by Farm Foods management was not very welcoming (surprise,surprise) even Farm Foods owner is not known for tact when it comes to dealing with British farmers, as we have experienced in the past. The protest at Farm Foods DC at Avonmouth lasted until 1 am when it was felt by all we had delivered a very strong message. The decision has been taken that if we have heard nothing from Farm Foods by the middle of the week, we will have no alternative but to return to this site and also visit sites in the Midlands, North West and possibly Scotland. We reiterate to all Farm Foods management, all you have to do is pick a telephone up, we would far rather sit down and have dialogue than resort to peaceful protest. So in the words of one of great leaders 'pull your finger out!'.

Again to everyone who attended last night a very big thank you, your behaviour was exemplary as was your commitment and enthusiasm to seeing this campaign through to the end, but as was stated last night to all those who attended, this action is only one part of the jigsaw. We in the Working Group have to move at speed to find a mechanism that prevents the need for this kind of activity going forward and from Farmers For Action we give you that commitment that we will see it through until the end and hopefully the dairy farmers that are left in our industry will at least be getting a sustainable milk price going forward.

Further protests are planned this week, our friends up North are looking at the food service sector, others are looking at retailers within the SW area, so just watch the web site, FB and Twitter and for members your e mail for further info on targets, again as said last night lets all work together make sure everyone knows what everybody else is doing and the targets selected are the right ones and not those already in talks with the Working Group.


LIDL price up to 28ppl on Monday



NORTH WEST meet at Chester Services, Junct 14, on M56 at Hapsford, Cheshire CH2 4QZ7.30pm Chester Service Area
Contact Tom Houghton 07540704887

SOUTH WEST meet at Gordano Services, Bristol BS20 8PR on M5 for 7.30 for 8pm
Details contact James Hole 07971254652/David Handley 07711194947

Please we need you all to turn out. This one is all about getting cheese milk price up with a retailer who does pays cost of production to his farmer suppliers for its milk and some of its mature cheese, but is one of the biggest importers of dairy products in the retail sector.

This weeks update at 15/8/15

This week has been a tough week for everyone with constant negotiations virtually every day by all those involved in the working group and also we have seen our
Young Farmers again in action, and exemplary in the way they have carried out their activities, please keep it up but make sure that your target is not one who is on the list of those that are currently negotiating. If you have any doubts please get in touch with any of the parties in the working group, FFA, TFA, NFU (Wales,England,Scotland), RABDF

Obviously there has been some success with Asda and Morrisons on liquid milk and a small initiative by Morrisons on cheese. There is a bigger picture with both these retailers and that is their milk going into cheese manufacture. Talks are continuing over the coming days to try and resolve this issue.

Aldi again have increased farm gate milk price and again talks with respect to cheese is continuing, we understand we can expect an announcement from the other discounter, Lidl, sometime this coming week.

There has been a lot of negative comments as to where the returns from these deals are going (ARLA) . I can assure everyone the working group are trying to drive prices for everyone that produces milk in the UK. To some it may seem slow but believe you me what we have achieved in the last few days should give you all confidence that in the days to come all dairy farmers in the UK will start to see a benefit from this hard work by the recognised organisations and our young farmers.
Negative comments with regards ARLA or any other dairy producer group achieve nothing. We have to stand together, we have to forget the differences and focus totally on the job in hand and that is a sustainable milk price for every dairy farmer who continues to produce milk in this country. Sometimes there will be winners and losers but believe you me within FFA and others within the group the intention is to deliver to all. So again I say please everyone, drop out the negative comments and just get behind the campaign.

Just one comment to those ARLA producers who are bitching over the fact that they have to share their money with 10k other European dairy farmers - you read the contract and you signed it, you knew what you were doing and remember the majority of you jumped on this bandwagon because you thought that the European milk price was going to be better than the UK price. Currently that may not be the case but I am sure when the market turns around none of you will be making negative comments when those 10,000 dairy producers' prices rise and you benefit from that. Do not share your issues on social media, if you are not happy then ring your ARLA representative and resign your contract.
David Handley, Chairman, FFA



Following all the recent activity in the last 7 days, with Milk Trolley Challenges originated by young farmers, and protests held in Cheshire last week and again last night Cheshire (600 in attendance) and Bridgwater in Somerset (1,000 in attendance), Morrisons are to meet within industry leaders on Tuesday of next week to discuss the serious issue facing British dairy farmers. We would now please ask everyone to focus their attention on other retailers whilst talks with Morrisons take place.

Well done last night to everybody, both young and old your support was fantastic, behaviour was exemplary and obviously a big thank you to all our other partners who have played a part in the last 7 days focusing on the plight faced in the British dairy industry. Not forgetting all the generous sponsors who have been so generous throughout this campaign.

Young Farmers, your conduct and behaviour has been a tremendous advert for our industry and you and your families should be duly proud of you, as we all are here at FFA.

Again big thanks from all the team at FFA and I am sure that would also go for NFU, TFA,RABDF and CLA.

We will keep you posted with regards to the meeting with Morrisons or any other developments.

Please keep up the support, this is just the beginning but together we can make a difference and we will



Thursday 6/8/2015
SOUTH WEST meet at Junction 24, M5 Sedgemoor Auction Centre, Bridgwater 7.45 pm
Please try and attend, bring your whole family, even the dog. This is going to be a protest with a twist. There will be something for everyone to be involved in, it will not be about just standing talking to your neighbour, but it will be totally peaceful.
Contact James Hole 07971254652

NORTH WEST meet at Salt Cellar, Middlewich CW10 0JB 7.45 pm
again this will be a protest with a twist we need everyone in the NW & W Mids to attend if possible, bring the whole family.
Contact Tom Houghton 07540704887

To both of these events we invite the general public, our customers, to come along and support our industry. Bring the family, bring your children along to meet the cows and speak to the farmers who produce your food, day in day out.

With regard to the Supermarket Trolley Challenge to all that have taken part so far you have done a fantastic job, your behaviour has been impeccable and we need to keep this up especially focusing on Morrisons. Again, if you can purchase the product through donations from local businesses, your farming suppliers, etc., (It costs around £70 to fill a trolley) and then either give the milk away to customers, and invite donations to a charity or charities, or take to Food Bank, Homeless shelter, etc., Keep going but please make sure we get the videos, that you speak to the media because the whole idea of this is to get the message out to everyone who buys our product we are not going to be pushed down any longer, well done all.


Current state of play

Following a meeting with Morrisons on the milk crisis last week, we have had a reply back saying Morrisons are not prepared to negotiate anything whilst being targeted by farmers. I think a line has been drawn in the sand and am sure I speak on behalf of the majority of farmers when I say we are not going to be bullied by British retailers. All we want is a fair price, a living wage and be able to make a profit from our business, no different than any other corporate business, whether it be British retailing or British food service industry. For Morrisons to start saying that they are not going to be threatened into price increasing tells me they are not listening to the message. Their own customers, the great British public are telling them they are prepared to pay more to keep British farming profitable and going forward, Morrisons need to realise we are an island with 63m people, other than exotics we could be totally self sufficient but retailers and the food service sector seem to think that food is all about profit, for them and no one else.

I believe we have now reached a point where the British farming industry has to stand up and be counted. We as farmers need to stand together like we have never done before, we need to forget any past differences and deliver the strongest message ever to those who purchase our products and to those who govern our industry and tell them we have had enough, we cannot continue this downward trend of pricing of our fantastic products whilst those who serve the public continue to bring it millions of miles around the world, affecting our wonderful environment and being of no benefit to the countries they trade in as they operate the same policies there in purchasing which is 'we want it cheaper', its got to stop. Our Prime Minister and Agricultural Minster need to get a grip of who is running this country, who is controlling British food output, is it the farmer and politicians or is it the likes of Morrisons?.

In recent weeks I have continually said we can win this battle if we stand together and win this battle without using European tactics but I am afraid I have to say today maybe I have got this one wrong. If farmers will not stand together, what we are going to see happen is smaller groups breaking away, not through greed but through desperation and therefore French tactics are going to take place, whether we like it or we don't. So here is my plea, British farmers stand up and unite, this is not a war, all we are asking for is fair play, fair price, fair trade and a living wage. For our successful businesses to maintain profit for reinvestment , for efficiency and growth and above all to be able to feed a growing population from within our own shores and I would say to any doubter, to any individual that says 'this is absurd, we don't do it this way in Britain' you are letting down the next generation of farmers. Those young people who every night and day this week have been out peacefully protesting, exemplary in their behaviour trying to secure their future, we need to support them, back them and bring about a radical change in the way British farming is being treated by those greedy corporate both in retail and food service sector.

David Handley


7.45 PM

Apparently there is a further tractor go slow being planned on the A50 today and we
state yet again that Farmers For Action totally disagree with this action.


Over the last three months a lot of work has been going on behind the scenes trying to find solutions to the current crisis our industry faces. This has involved all the farming organisations working together. It has proved to be very slow and very difficult but no one ever pretended that to find long term solutions to the industry's problems was going to be an easy one. Unfortunately a lot of this work has not been able to be shared with you our members due to sensitivity of the complexities involved in finding answers for both the short term and long term issues facing all sectors within the British farming industry. We had hoped that most people would have been patient but we understand the pressures that are put on business and family when income levels have fall to an all time low, and this has brought out some frustration amongst a minority of members.

We at FFA understand some of the frustration that certain members and non members are feeling by not knowing what is going on. Therefore, that is why in the last three weeks we have had open meetings with our working partners at Market Drayton and at Bridgwater. We have plans for further open meetings in the North of England, the far South West and Wales to try and give as much information as is practical to let people know, not only where we are in this current negotiation but also to hear farmers' views and ideas of how we can progress forward.


Currently, there is a lot of media coverage of the situation faced in France and the reaction of French farmers such as blocking motorways, spreading slurry, burning tyres on motorways, loosing livestock in supermarkets and sadly high jacking a number of Scottish owned lorries. We understand in difficult times people are driven to extreme measures but do we as the British farming industry really want to go to this level. So let us look at what the French have so far achieved by this drastic action.

1 The French government has caved in and given what? tax breaks (something that our NFU has already achieved with negotiation with the British government)

2 The French government have provided finance to allow farmers to restructure farmers' debts with their banks (do we really want to go down this road). A debt is a debt that has to be paid back in the end, prolonging the pain does nothing (what we need is money for our products that enables us to stand on our own feet and pay our own debts)

3 The French government has put pressure on French retailers to pay more money for dairy products, not to the farmer but to the dairy processor. First question a) Will that money in total get back to the primary producer, I very much doubt and b) all they have done is given a four month break as this agreement so far is planned no further than the end of the year.

So this is all the slurry spreading, road blocking, burning on highways and high jackings has achieved for our French counterparts. It may make you feel better but it does not put a penny in your bank account.


What we in the coalition are trying to achieve is money directly into your banks through better returns for the products you produce. Nobody is promising a silver bullet, this is slow and painful for all of us. Remember all the FFA team who have committed the last 15 years to working for our industry are your fellow farmers doing the best they can. We are leaving no stone unturned and are currently working on a number of ideas to extract money from retailers and the food service sector whilst also pressurising our government to also act. To that end we have said when the summer parliamentary recess is ended if we see no sign of response from our politicians we will take farming to the capital and to other major cities around the country. That is one of the ways that you all, our members, will be able to come out and show solitary.


Next, retailers and food service industry have to be made to realise if they want to stack it high and sell it cheap it all comes out of their profits not our pockets. Their job first of all is to pay the true cost of production to every single farmer in the land. To remain loyal in the first instance to British produce, milk, lamb, beef, pork, chicken & eggs, fruit and vegetables before they even consider imports into the UK purely and simply for their profit not to the benefit of consumers. To that end again the coalition is trying to bring around this mindset within this sector but again, very shortly we will be expecting to call you to assist us in this goal with communication with the consumer, explaining exactly what producing great British produce entails and I am afraid to say also to jump on your tractor and support peaceful protest aimed at those who refuse to negotiate and make sure that every single farming family in this land can make a profit. They have a corporate responsibility to do this. We are an island and there have been times in history when food has been short, increasing imports only increases the risk to food security.

We hope this helps everyone understand where we stand at this moment in time and we at FFA fully accept that perhaps we have not kept our members as fully informed as we should have. To that end we will improve on this very quickly so you all know the progress that is being made.


FFA as you know has both a facebook group and twitter page. This was set up as a request by our members as a forum so that people could openly share their views and sometimes their criticisms. We have no problem with that whatsoever, constructive criticism and ideas are welcome but we have been forced into some drastic action, especially with regard to our Facebook page, which remember not only is read by adults but by children and consumers as well and when we see posts using foul language, intimidation and in some cases trying to rouse people to do things that are unlawful, we felt we had to act.

To those people who have been removed or blocked, in their eyes unfairly, if you care to contact us we will rectify and reinstate you onto the facebook page. Amongst those are a very small minority and I mean very small, to which I have his to say.

As Chairman of Farmers For Action my telephone number is freely available, if you have something to say with regards to me or any of the team at FFA please free to ring, if you don't get me leave a message and I will come back to you. As I have stated previously I know things are difficult for everybody and I fully understand the frustrations and anger and remember there is not one person on the team at FFA who in the past has not risked being arrested for the sake of British agriculture, but this achieves nothing. However as individuals if you are hell bent on bringing this industry into disrepute and you think the general public don't remember, well carry on.

So to reiterate what has already been posted on our website and here on facebook, you can see what we are trying to do and will be called upon but it will be in a controlled manner where we work with the Police and everyone else involved to finally get long term solutions that last and if we can achieve that with the backing of 63m consumers and the support of politicians that surely is a better way than setting fires, spreading slurry, high jacking lorries and causing inconvenience.

We at FFA we are not trying to be dictatorial it is purely the fact that our FB group and Twitter page are there for everyone to read and every post that is read by individual people is absorbed so lets make sure that they see we are professional individuals that care passionately about our industry and only want what every other person in the country wants, a liveable wage to enable us to maintain producing fantastic British food, support our families and invest in the future.

Our produce sustains life so please, please lets not fall out. I have said today we have made mistakes. I am sure others, if they reflect, probably have as well but lets put that behind us, show total solidarity and lets get an industry back on its feet for the benefit of everyone, and remember it is better to have tried and failed than never to have tried at all.

David Handley Chairman Farmers For Action


Protest on A50 today

Although we understand the frustration and anger of those who today have been protesting on the A50, we feel very strongly this will not benefit our cause in the short term.  The last people we should be dragging into our argument with retailers, food service industry, milk processors and the government is the general public, who at the end of the day are our consumers who put the money in the tills that comes down the supply chain to pay for our marvellous products. 

As FFA maybe we have not been quick enough to supply information to our members about all the hardwork that is currently being carried out on their behalf.  We will address this going forward but we ask members anywhere in the country, please be patient, we are moving as fast as possible, maybe not fast enough, but we are seeing things develop within the retail sector and we intend to hold retailers, processors and the government to account.  Those that are calling for protest, legal peaceful protest that will hold these people mentioned to account, along with serious negotiations, are planned for the coming weeks to find a short term solution and the coalition of organisations are working very hard to find solutions for the medium to long term in all sectors of British agriculture which are currently going through very, very rocky times.  Again we reiterate we understand the passion that is flowing today in Staffs and Derbys but want to reassure everyone there is no stone being left unturned and we will make sure that you get all that relevant information on a more regular basis.  If anyone has any issues that are constructive or ideas, please contact either David Handley or any of our co-ordinators, we are there to help.

Sedgemoor Livestock Centre Somerset 22/7/15

22/7/15 meeting for the SW will take place at Sedgemoor Livestock Market Somerset Junction 24 of M5 Speakers David Handley FFA, Rob Harrison, NFU Dairy and a representative of  the TFA and Derek Mead.   7.30pm  for 8 pm
Sedgemoor Livestock Centre Somerset 22/7/15

Packed market at Market Drayton last night well over 450 present at the FFA/NFU/TFA dairy crisis meeting. Check out our Twitter page @FARMERS4ACTION.


Paul Rowbottom - Derbyshire co-ordinator

Paul has decided to step down as FFA co-ordinator.  This was a decision taken by Paul himself as he wishes to focus more on his animal feed business but also in recent months he feels he has not been getting farmer support regarding FFA's dairy campaign.  We wish Paul well for the future, he has been a great help in organising FFA events and I am sure when the time is right, we will probably see Paul again.


Livestock Event 2015 8/9 July

FFA will have a stand at the Livestock Event 2015 on 8/9 July.  If you are a member come along and meet the team, if you wish to become a member you will be most welcome to join on the day.
We will be situated opposite the robotic milking exhibition. 

Market Drayton 16/7/15

Meeting at Market Drayton on 16/7/15 held at Market Drayton Livestock Market speakers will be David Handley, FFA, Rob Harrison Chairman NFU Dairy and a representative from the TFA.  Please all support.  7.30pm  for 8 pm

Sedgemoor Livestock Centre Somerset 22/7/15

22/7/15 meeting for the SW will take place at Sedgemoor Livestock Market Somerset Junction 24 of M5 Speakers David Handley FFA, Rob Harrison, NFU Dairy and a representative of  the TFA and Derek Mead.   7.30pm  for 8 pm

13/2/15 David Handley, FFA, Chairman, enters The Grocer magazine's Power List of top 100 people who shape the food and drink industry. New entrant at No 100!

5/2/15 David Handley's speech from 2015 Semex Conference



Meet from North - M6 south bound @ charnock richard services @ 7 45 pm
From south and midlands Salt Cellar pub middlewhich CW10 0JB @ 7 45 pm
Tom Houghton 07540704887 or Paul Rowbottom 07973188279


Meet 8.30 PM at Iceland Distribution, Penzance Drive, Swindon Wilts. SN5 7JF
Contact SW - James Hole 07971254652 David Handley 07711194947
SE - Bruce Horn 07966674846 John Lillywhite 07540745808


Further Letter to Dalton Phillips, CEO Morrisons following latest protests at Morrisons 20/11/14.
Latest Videos and Photos from last Thursday's protests at Morrisons Cheshire and Somerset.


Last week's protests at Muller Wiseman went ahead and again were totally peaceful and gave  farmers the opportunity to show their anger with regard to current milk prices.  For these protests to continue and above all to be successful, we really do need more farmer support.  We are only asking you to give up a short amount of your time to attend a protest because the size of the crowd makes a huge difference and for those who have not attended before, you will find most of the evening is very entertaining and you also can learn a lot by talking to your fellow farmers, plus many friends do get made on the picket line.  So next time you hear of a protest, if you don't wish to stay for the full term at least come along and see how these protests are conducted.  You might be very surprised that  FFA are not the militant organisation some would like you to believe.  Further protests will go head later this week and their details will be announced within the next 24 hours.  Become a member and you get to know first hand otherwise.

Committee Meeting

FFA held its monthly committee meeting on Sunday evening at Newbury.  It was very well attended by co-ordinators from all over the country with some travelling up to 4 hours.  Now that is commitment!  It was also good to see four new comittee members, all under the age of 35.  We intend to extend this invitation to the younger generation, after all it is their future we are fighting for, so if you fit into that category contact the office with your details  or your local FFA co-ordinator if you would like to be part of FFA and contribute to getting sustainable prices for our marvellous farming industry.  You would be made very welcome.


Over recent weeks we have again started to supply both baseball caps and stickers at the request of many membes.  We now plan to extend this range of clothing with the FFA logo.  This service is going to be operated by one of our new young members, Tina Williams from Herefordshire.  Her details and how to order a range of clothing will be put up on the web site in the next couple of weeks as we have to get some admin in place first.  In the meantime, for baseball caps and stickers please continue to contact the office  secretary@farmersforaction.org  with your requirements. 

Semex Conference 11/13 January 2015

If you have not got your ticket for the first day of the Semex Conference, its 25th anniversary, get an order in quickly as our Chairman, David Handley, is the first speaker on the first day.  This is surely going to be a lively and raucous affair.


At last politicians   seem to be taking the current dairy crisis very seriously.  A Select Committee has called a meeting for November 25th to get an overview of the serious situation we as dairy farmers are now facing.  FFA has been asked to put forward a representative to give evidence at the enquiry , so Chairman David Handley will be in attendance to give evidence of the situation in our industry faced by working dairy farmers every day of the week.  If you have any views as a member between now and that date please forward via e mail to the office.  Please do not phone in as David's little brain would not be able to cope.  Thank you.

Cutting back on milk may make you tired and confused!

Well The Daily Mail have taken notice. After we took them to the PCC over their article on dairy back in August, when they were forced to issue an apology for printing incorrect information, they have taken a complete U turn in their  full page article today - tired and confused? Cutting back on milk may be to blame as milk and dairy products are main source of iodine in UK whilst organic milk has around 40% less iodine. Iodine deficiency causes low IQ, fatigue,miscarriage and thyroid problems.
Hurrah at last.


Tues 11 November




RING JAMES HOLE 07971254652 OR DAVID HANDLEY 07711194947



AT 8 9M


LATEST UPDATES FROM FFA week ending Friday 31/10/14

The week started well with more news that two other dairy processors were freezing the milk price. Unfortunately, the sting in the tail was the announcement by First Milk, Arla Direct and Wyke Cheese of price reductions.

First of all lets deal with the price freeze by Muller, Arla Member and Dairy Crest plus a number of other smaller milk processors. I think this clearly vindicates our farmer/producer  protests. I am positive that without these there would have been no price freeze from the above. You may ask why? FFA have said from day one that these milk price cuts that have been so severe are attributed to one thing and one thing only, that the processors have the power to cut their price whenever it suits. The global market, which is being blamed for the price cuts, is still as weak as it was three months ago, so why no further price cuts from these named processors? simply because they have chosen not to and why, because
some farmers were prepared to stand up and fight. That fight is not over yet by a long way

FFA said at the beginning of the milk campaign the first phase was to hold price drops, the second phase which we now enter is to recover some of the money that has disappeared within the supply chain. Is that going to mean further protests, definitely but we are also going to have to communicate with the consumer in the form of a leaflet drop at supermarkets explaining why dairy farmers have had to resort to this action. These leaflets are currently being produced and within the next few days the call to mobilise the troops to deliver the leaflets will be made. These will be handed out in conjunction with striking wristbands in black and white.

Arla price cut to directs - following two very distressing phone calls that FFA received last week regarding these cuts and the effect it would have on individual businesses, chairman David Handley contacted Jonathan Ovens of Arla to basically ask if these price cuts could be revoked or at least allow these directs to become members of Arla. Mr Ovens initially was quite upbeat about this idea but within hours this attitude changed and the reply was loud and clear, Arla were going to do nothing. So much for compassion in a so called farmer owned business towards it fellow farmers, whose milk it continues to take at such a low price to prop up its farmer members, quite disgusting in this day and age. A small caveat to the above - Mr Ovens did offer to go and see the two individual distressed farmers but it was decided by FFA with the help of third parties that we could deal with their situations.

First milk cut - amazing to find that a so called farmer owned business supposedly run by practicing dairy farmers can cut to a price that is unsustainable to dairy farmers within this business, but many of those on the board are probably on a Nestle contract which delivers a far higher milk price. It is time that Sir Jim Paice came out and told the truth with regard to First Milk. This slow death being imposed on its dairy farmer members cannot be allowed to continue and we call on every industry representative to apply pressure to First Milk's management to open its books and let us all see how much longer First Milk will be with us.

Last week's protests - First protest at Adams Foods was an amazing success in terms of the number of farmers who supported. Over 400 turned up in atrocious weather to make their feelings felt. The outcome of this protest was a telephone conversation between David Handley and current CEO of Adams Foods, the infamous ex Milk Link, Neil Kennedy. All points with regarding to Irish products were discussed and also the issue of country of origin labelling on Pilgrims Cheese. Anyone who has bought this product will be able to see it carries a multitude of countries of original, something that FFA feels has to end. Mr Kennedy took all these points on board and we will give him some time to see if he makes any changes. I very much doubt if they will and therefore farmers may well need to return to the site at Leek, but we will keep you updated.

On Thursday night we moved to Middlewich in Cheshire where the target was our old friends, Morrisons. Why you may ask. At the first protest of our campaign at Morrisons DC in Bridgewater, Somerset an open letter was handed and also displayed on FFA's website to the CEO Dalton Phillips. Up until last Thursday there has been no communication to reply to the issues raise in that document. Therefore we felt a further visit to Middlewich was necessary. The agreement made at that protest through their Logistics Director was the following day he would make sure that senior management would get the message delivered from the previous nights protest and he hoped that someone would respond, to date there has been no response from Morrisons at any level. Therefore plans are afoot to revisit a number of their DCs combined with visits to the supermarket stores to tell their customers how they are currently treating UK dairy farmers. It clearly shows to FFA that these retailers don't give a damn about farming families producing their dairy products. Yet again this company excels in the way it treats its red meat suppliers why cannot they do the same for dairy.

Debate in House of Commons

Today there is a debate in Westminster Hall called by Simon Hart MP Carmarthen West and South Pembroke, who has been allocated 90 minutes to debate our industry. I am sure Mr Hart will put forward a very strong case for UK dairy as his consticency probably has the biggest number of dairy cows anywhere in the country. We await the results of this debate with bated breath.

We are still awaiting the Minutes of our meeting in Westminster which were promised but as I have stated before the wheels of politics move very slowly. We will be contacting the chairman of that group Neil Parish MP to ask again when we are going to see these Minutes.

For further protests and leaflet distribution we will be contacting you all in the usual way as soon as we have secured the plan going forward. Please be patient I know for some of you it is quite frustrating but we have to make sure what we do has an impact to get us all as sustainable milk price. Again to all those who support us a very big thank you, please keep coming out. We need the numbers - they do give us impact.

And finally we all owe a huge vote of thanks to our FFA co-ordinators who organise these protests and make sure that they are peaceful and run within Police guidelines.


Chairman's Report  (David Handley) -
Dairy Crisis Meeting at Westminster

This  meeting appeared to go  extremely well from an FFA perspective.  I believe  we got the message across loud and clear that there is something that can be done about the situation British dairy farmers find themselves in.  A number of suggestions were put forward to MPs of which I do believe were fully understood.   We expect a copy of the minutes of this meeting in the near future,which  will be circulated to members.  This group intends to meet again in early February 2015.  The wheels of politics move slowly.

Second part of the week went extremely well for all milk producers as Arla announced a price freeze.  It is now going to be very interesting  to see what other processors do following Arla's decision.  We intend to watch this space very carefully but do issue a word of caution, as a result of a comment made at a recent FFA meeting by an east midlands Arla representative, who disclosed to FFA co-ordinator, Paul Rowbottom, there was a further 1.6p cut in Arla's mind.  I have contacted Arla who assure me that decision has not even been discussed.  Again watch this space. 


Tuesday 28 October at 8 pm Leek Cattle Market,  Leek, Staffs ST13 5PY
Contact Paul Rowbottom 07973188279,  Tom Houghton 07540704887, David Handley 07711194947.

25/10/14  The milk protest at Bridgewater on 8 October 2014 will be featured on Countryfile Sunday evening 26 October 2014.



A meeting was held with Iceland yesterday, report has been sent to FFA members.


This week DH will attend a meeting with MPs and other organisations on Wednesday 22 in the House of Commons where he will put our
members case very strongly as to the problems facing the dairy industry. A report of this meeting will be posted later in the week.


Further protests on falling milk prices and the devaluing of our products will recommence once the above meeting has been held.

Phase 1 of our campaign was to stop any further milk price cuts, we were confident if farmers stood up to be counted this was achievable,

We now give you all a glimmer of hope, Arla have announced to me there will be no price cut for November.

Well done to everybody who supported the protests, it is only a small step but we are winning the battle. If all other organisations had got
behind this campaign I am confident we would actually be seeing money coming back to hardworking dairy farmers.
Thank you ALL who have supported, without you nothing could have been achieved.


Last night's FFA meeting at Penrith Auction Mart, c
haired by  Lord Inglewood of Hutton in the Forest, an ex MEP, who himself runs  a dairy herd of 180 holsteins,  attracted well over 550 producers, ancilliary businesses, farm staff, vets, feed companies, accountants etc who travelled from Scotland and all over the North of England.    Follow the link here to Farmers Guardian's video and report

Also running parallel to the Penrith meeting a very successful protest was held at Iceland DC in Warrington with well over 150 taking part.  A meeting is taking place with Iceland next week.   Go to Twitter for photos

FFA Milk Protest

On Thursday 16 October

Meet at 7.45 prompt

At Lymm Truck Stop WA13 0SP, junction 20 off M6.

Tom Houghton 07540 704887
Paul Rowbottom 07973 188279



A number of people have been enquiring as to why the three chosen sites this week?  Reasons as follows:-

Direct farmgate milk price cuts
Displacing British cheese for cheap imports
Devaluing our wonderful dairy products
Devaluing our product both in national newspapers and TV ads.

We hope the above justifies our actions this week.


Things are now moving apace, miraculously we are now receiving phone calls from milk processors who tell us maybe prices will stop falling, retailers crawling out of the woodwork claiming not to have taken any farmers' money and so on and so on.  That should not be a surprise to anyone. For the last 15 years this has been the normal responses from the guilty parties as soon as farmers start to put the pressure on.

We need to keep it up and we need to intensify the protests, if we are to stop any further price cuts and start to get farmgate prices up as fast as they went down. No matter what your view on protesting this surely must get everybody at the protest sites. 

Examples of what has been done in the last 10 days by our so called friends, the British  retailer:- insulting adverts on TV cheapening the value of your hard earned British milk, displacing British cheese off the shelves replacing with cheaper European product, cheapskate adverts in national newspapers. 
One retailer removes 2,500 tonnes of British quality cheese for Irish, pressure being put on milk price tenders to get them even lower for a failing retailer and quotes by one milk processor of a £55m loss, no mention of the £35m trading profit, no mentions of all the acquisitions that have been made in one financial year.  Clever accountancy? We need to make a stand to get sustainable milk prices, no one else is going to do it. 

Nutritionally, milk has been defined as "the most nearly perfect food". It provides more essential nutrients in significant amounts than any other single food.  We think it is about time the government got involved in this crisis for everyone's sakes.

12/10/14 DAIRY PROTESTS Derbyshire and Hampshire



Contact Tom Houghton 07540704887 Paul Rowbottom 07973188279


(sorry no post code but map attached)

Contact Bruce Horn 07966674846 or John Lillywhite 07540745808 (SE) or James Hole 07971254652 (SW)


DAIRY CRISIS MEETING 16/10/14  7.30pm 
Penrith, Cumbrian
Speakers Lord Inglewood and David Handley FFA


Well done to everyone who supported last night. James and his team for the excellent organisation. We had well over 500 people there, two foragers tens of tractors all doing a grand job.  To those who donated money from the ancillary industries to feed and keep us warm a big thank you. Shame on the  others didn't follow your lead as the dairy industry plays a large part in their businesses and it is about time they gave a little back into the industry that supports them.

Also have to say a big thank you to all the media who were present last night for helping us get the message out to British consumers as to what is actually going on in the dairy industry. The great British public has once again shown that it is fully supports the country's farmers and are continually asking, why should I buy my milk? I want to be sure the producer is getting the best possible price. A revised consumer page will be added to this web site shortly but we say to you check the label, try and buy local, or doorstep from a local dairy and don't be afraid to ask where the milk is coming from.

Further protests are planned for the coming week, members and press will be notified. Further bulletins tomorrow.

You will notice that Toby Wilson, (Breeze and Wilson), has recorded another smashing  dairy anthem for us, so start practicing your line dance and next time the tv cameras are around let them have it!


2nd Milk Protest Somerset tonight, West Wales guys and gals taking a coach trip
to support, hog roast to keep you all sustained throughout the evening.

Our series of Dairy Crisis Meetings have proved very successful in Market Drayton, Frome and Carmarthen. We now move on to Penrith in Cumbria in next week or so Venue will be Penrith Auction Mart date and time to be advised next few days


Chairman's Report on last night at Market Drayton

The first peaceful protest went extremely well and I think all who took part deserve a pat on the back for the way they behaved and presented themselves to the multitude of media present covering the issues.  This campaign is all about telling consumers, the government and all who play a part in our milk supply chain, things are not right.  Last night's protest at Muller was only the first of our campaign.  Muller has not been selected out in being the bad guy in all this he is just one processor in the supply chain.  We move on to our next target in Somerset on Wednesday evening, again to deliver the same message and I emphiase  despite the area,  this is not Muller Wiseman.  All processors and retailers who currently extract money are targets within our campaign to get the message across.   UK dairy although not exempt from global issues, should not be sustaining the milk price cuts it currently is.  Please come and support, and tell your story to the media who are supporting this campaign.  Stay home and say nothing unfortunately means you will get nothing. 

We also offer a warm welcome to consumers, come along and chat to the producers and  their families and see how these cuts are affecting them.

On a last note and we cannot resist this one, we have to tell everyone as Chairman my mode of transport is a Ford Thunder pick up truck not the latest  Lynx helicopter or
Gulfstream G550 corporate jet
although FFA commitee tell me if they can raise the funds they want me to have an Appache attack helicopter, could be fun for everyone.  See you all Wednesday night.

Market Drayton Protest last night

Wonderful response last night, well over 500 attended.  Plenty of media coverage.  Was a very long night for some who didnt return home until well into the early hours of this morning to catch a few hours sleep before starting milking.  Twitter and Facebook was inundated with good will from consumers, who were all asking where can they buy there milk from that pays the producer a decent price.  They are quite happy to pay that little bit more to support the UK dairy industry and small/medium sized producers.  Will be reintroducing a new consumer page shortly to help them through what is a minefield of milk pricing.

Thank you everyone.

On a lighter note the prize for the most bizarre  radio debate (albeit very short) has to go to The Jeremy Vine Show yesterday lunchtime with David Handley and  the very strange  Jeremy Baker (
affiliate professor of Entrepreneurship, Marketing and International business at ESCP Europe London campus!!)  whose  claim to fame, of many,  was advising Avon Cosmetics on their PR.  He went on to educate us on everything that was wrong in our industry and did'nt know that the NFU still existed! Classic.


The second milk price protest of the week takes place
in Somerset on Wednesday 8 October 2014.

Meet at
Sedgemoor Auction Centre
North Petherton
at 8 pm Contact James Hole 07971254652


All those taking tractors and equipment please phone James 07971254652 beforehand for relevant info.

Thank you


  is to take place on Monday 6/10/14 at Market Drayton in Shropshire. Please all meet at Market Drayton Livestock Centre at 8 pm. 
Contact Tom Houghton
07540704887   Paul Rowbottom 07973188279



It does appear that our  comments with regard to Wyke the milk processor has ruffled some feathers.  Unnfortunately it was suggested they may be weak sellers, perhaps we  were wrong.  Just think the problem is they are little fish in a very big pond and  the likes of the multiple retailer and the Irish Dairy Board have got bigger flippers in this big pond. but you see when you keep getting excuse after excuse to drop the farmgate milk price, sometimes we may reach the wrong conclusion.  If we had transparency within this industry which after all is a supply chain, we may well sort out the ongoing problem. 

But we fear having just listened to another excuse in the last 24 hours which goes something like this:-

We are paying too much money to farmers who are oversupplying the market which means we cannot manufacture all the raw material into product therefore we are forced to sell it on the spot price for as low as 20p.  FFA's question was if this is the case, then why oh why are you paying farmers volume bonus incentives if you can't handle the milk?  Again maybe someone in the dairy industry would like to give us the answer.  It may not be a milk processor but more likely to be the very organisation we pay for as dairy farmers, non other than Dairy Co, who according to their new chairman, should be working for farmers.  Will these  comments  get the red phone  hot? 



As predicted the cuts keep coming, getting more severe each time with more and more excuses
95% of them not even justified, but  if farmers keep accepting them,  then who can blame the buyers  for taking the money.  The biggest cut so far, not yet made public is Muller Wiseman with a massive
1.9ppl due to appear to its producers sometime next week.  Muller apparently are very aggrieved that Farmers For Action got this information so early and are accusing their Farmer Board for the leak.
We can assure any individual that looks at this web site Muller has staff that have morals! No need to say any more. 

Wyke cheese again 1.5ppl being blamed on weak markets.  FFA says loud and clear, weak selling.

Further cuts are expected from First Milk, Dairy Crest and virtually every other milk processor
and on the back of this the NFU both England and Scotland still continue to tell dairy farmers to produce more milk.  Police forces across the country have been alerted by our friends at Muller that they expect disruption, why are they feeling so guilty that they have to go to the Police.  Do they not
understand dairy producers need a sustainable milk price as well as they do. 


Come along to the above event on Wednesday 1 October, there should be a very interesting debate on the Farmers Guardian/Dairy Farmer stand between NFU, FFA and Arla representatives.  Come and have your say.


Leave a free date in your calendar for the next 10 days.

25/9/14  New SOS Dairy song

A new SOS dairy song is being created as we speak by Toby Wilson to listen to the original click


It does appear my last update has upset some Arla producers.  My comments have been taken out of context as I clearly stated there are 3,000 dairy producers who have
signed an Arla global price contract.  Therefore, there are over 7,000 dairy producers who should not be feeling the full impact of global milk price cuts as 85% of their milk
does not leave the UK.
I fully understand Arla farmers’ concerns, many of whom are members of FFA and have all been loyal supporters, but last year we did warn of the volatility of signing a contract
based on a global price.  I am deeply concerned about  what Arla is doing to the UK milk market and if Arla farmers in the UK again,  whose milk
goes through  Arla processing of which  80% of it finishes up on UK retail shelves,  wish to join in the fight to stop further price cuts, we welcome you and I am sure as always you
will continue to support FFA. 
I do apologise  if I offended anyone in my previous comment, it was not the intention-

David Handley


Chairman's  Comment 

Two meetings on the serious issue now facing dairy farmers going into winter have been held, both having been a total success and showing total support for FFA led campaign.
As those of you who have attended are aware, you were asked to fill in details of quota and milk buyer. The attendance at both meetings plus external member support
represents in excess of 1 billion litres of milk.

As Chairman of FFA, I cannot see how any other body can say we have to put up with this situation. With more meetings scheduled and in the pipeline, we may get close to 1/3 of milk representation
in the UK. Despite all our efforts so far, without protest, I fear today or tomorrow could be gloomy on the price front as we think Arla are going to announce a further milk price cut.
On a slightly positive note in reality it should only impact on 3,000 dairy producers as the other 7,000 are not on a global price contract. 

David Handley


Fantastic turnout at Market Drayton meeting last night, well over 450 attended.  Overwhelming vote for direct
action if needed. Was lead story on Midlands Today News link here http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b04h7jsd/midlands-today-18092014.  Thank you everybody who attended
Looking forward to Carmarthen meeting next Thursday.


Latest Sainsburys, COP  figure 32.41p/l just 0.62p/l down. Confirms what we have been saying producers are once again being ripped off!!!!!




THURSDAY 25 SEPTEMBER 2014 7.30pm for 8 pm

Your speaker will be David Handley, Chairman of FFA so it will surely be a very informative and
animated evening.

Non members also welcome, so bring along a car load and share your views on the way forward
in the current turmoil within our industry. The restaurant will be open to serve light refreshments.


Daily Mail clarification re Dr Roker's comments has been published today on Page 2 of the newspaper
in response to FFA's complaint lodged to the Press Complaints Commission.



THURSDAY 18 SEPTEMBER 2014 7.30pm for 8 pm

at The Agricultural Centre, Adderley Road, Market Drayton TF9 3SW

Your speaker will be David Handley, Chairman of FFA so it will surely be a very informative and
animated evening.

Non members also welcome, so bring along a car load and share your views on the way forward
in the current turmoil within our industry. The restaurant will be open to serve light refreshments.

NB Hope you have all signed up to our epetition http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/68900

9/9/14 Outcome of FFA'S complaint to Press Complaints Commission re Daily Mail article.

Received from  the PCC   today

 "The newspaper has revised its proposed clarification to include concerns which have been raised by others about bleached flour in the UK. The new proposed wording is as follows:"

A book serialisation of The Tiredness Cure by Dr Sohere Roked on September 1 said that hormones and antibiotics injected into dairy cattle can pass into retail milk, that there is a legal limit for the number of pus cells it may contain, and that most flour is ‘bleached’. We are happy to clarify that it is illegal to use hormones to stimulate milk production in the UK, that testing prevents antibiotics from passing into retail milk, and that the limit relates to all somatic cells. Flour is no longer bleached in the UK.

"It has also offered to remove the article from the newspaper’s website.

An additional benefit of resolving your complaint is that a summary of it – with a wording agreed by you – will be published prominently on the Commission’s website. This will act, importantly, as a public record of your concerns and the remedial action subsequently taken."

This will be published on Page 2 of the newspaper tomorrow 10/9/14.  This has been a very tedious process with the Daily Mail and we felt this was best wound up now or nothing was going to be achieved.

Below is our comprehensive response to the Press Complaints Commission regarding the Daily Mail's original 'clarification' to Dr Roker's article which was not acceptable:-

The Daily Mail ‘clarification’ does not go far enough and after discussing the article with our consultant vet (Rob Drysdale, MRCVS and Director of the largest farm vet practice in the world, working with over 100,000 cows in the UK and also farms from Estonia to Indonesia in terms of milk quality, dairy cow and calf health), below is our response. We have very many members of our organisation who are readers of the Daily Mail and who were incensed by the article. We trust that this response will be given the appropriate apology given the seriousness of the issue.

1. This was written by a doctor - the BMA should be asked to review why one of their own certified GPs is allowed to publish something so factually inaccurate? If a vet did this then the RCVS could be complained to and they could then intervene. I think this is one point that should be made in the apology that this "Doctor" got it so wrong: also section on "meat" in the article is wrong too!
2. The apology should state that the farming industry in the UK is closely regulated by multiple bodies - starting at the farm vet, working through the ministry (DEFRA) and farm assurance bodies attached to both the milk processor (ensuring safe milk production as well as ensuring best welfare for the cows, youngstock and calves on the farms) and the retailers selling British milk: the "red tractor" is the minimum standard whilst higher levels such as RSPCA Freedom Foods or Organic Standards operate on UK farms.
3. The apology should state that the "hormone" mentioned are illegal in the EU, and most of the developed world - this is a practice that the UK farmers would not condone.
4. The apology should state that "antibiotic" usage in the UK is closely regulated by the vets overseeing the farm animals health under their care - these are prescription only medicines after all - and the milk buyers. Every batch of milk is tested for any potential residues to often well below the EU minimum level specified to ensure no residues.
5. Farmers know that health animals produce healthy milk - why would they milk them "constantly" and encourage disease? This is still misleading and needs addressed in the apology too: it should be stated that not only are hormones not used in British milk also that health parameters are monitored consistently on the farms by the vets working with the UK dairy farmers to avoid disease.
6. "Pus cells" in milk is again something a GP should be aware of is factually inaccurate: we have not only a maximum, safe level for cells in any milk sold in Britain and the EU but also this cell count is not pus cells. As a health professional this is probably as inaccurate a statement as the one on hormone: somatic cells in milk sold are rarely pus since pus cells = specific types of white blood cells from the blood fighting/dead after fighting infection. In healthy milk the SCC comes from healthy cells, udder secreting cells and other normal cells that would also be found in sheep, goats and even human milk!


Time for reflection

When FFA was formed way back in 2000 by a group of ruddy faced farmers, little did anyone even consider that 14 years later, we would still be here.

Faces have changed but we are still fighting the same battles, have witnessed some terrible lows, ie BSE, Foot and Mouth and of course TB still affecting many of us. Costs have massively increased, regulations and restrictions have weighed us down.

How on earth have so many survived this. Pure grit and determination, the passion for their particular sector, the countryside or many simply don’t really have a choice but to dig deep due to capital investment, tenancies etc., and have gone out and got outside work to supplement farm income. These are the people who need our help and support. Who wants to see the small and medium sized family farms swallowed up by either our own industry, new housing, golf courses or property developers. By being part of FFA our members at least have the comfort of knowing that they are not alone in their worries.

In these 14 years we have been kicked and stamped upon by the ‘establishment’, but have always soaked it up like a sponge and bounced back. We have been used when useful and then discarded like an empty sweet wrapper. Awards have been received and bestowed upon us and occasionally we have been credited with playing a significant part in some particular successful campaign.

Our Survival has been down to our loyal members and a few very generous sponsors, together with a handful of dedicated people, our co-ordinators. These people keep the wheels turning. We have no fancy PR people, state of the art communication systems or free gifts to give away.

This is bare bones campaigning. We have tried and failed many times but have always given 100%, so 14 years on what does the future hold for Farmers For Action?
That is not up to us, it is for you to decide, we know who is with us but is that enough.


Well as predicted milk prices came crashing down thanks to none other than the infamous farmer owned co-op, First Milk by a whooping 3ppl. The word on
the street is that they haven't finished yet, so where oh where is the statement from either the Chairman or even the more anonymous, Chief Executive, to explain
to everybody in the dairy industry who gets affected by this dramatic drop.

Meadow Foods also joined in this week, with a 1.9ppl drop with the same old excuse as the rest, global markets and Russia. Yet when we last met with Meadow Foods
some time ago we were being told a lot of our products are on long term contracts which is why we can’t submit to the Code of Practice.’

Still no answers from processors or retailers as to why the UK is taking such dramatic price drops when we are importing 40% of some dairy products we consume and
80% of what we produce is used within this country. Surely now the whole of the dairy industry on the producer side need to get together and demand, not ask, for answers.

Where is all this money going? Most dairy farmers now will have had 5ppl wiped off their standard litre price, even the very clever must now be starting to get concerned,
although one clever large scale Scottish producer informs us it will be ok in 15 months time, when the little ones have gone, here will be a bonanza for the big boys who are left.

Our first open meeting to discuss the crisis takes this week at Frome Market. I do hope as many from the South West will try and attend and share their views
on what we do next. Without dairy farmers’support, which has been said over and over again, action will not work, so it is up to you. Further meeting will be
held over the country during the next few weeks.


25TH anniversary this year of probably the best dairy conference in the UK and I am honoured to be asked to speak.




Frome Market
BA11 2QB

7.30pm for 8 pm

FFA welcome all our South West members to our Dairy Crisis Meeting at Frome Auction Centre Restaurant
on Thursday 11 September 2014 7.30pm for 8.00 pm

Your speaker will be David Handley, Chairman of FFA so it will surely be a very informative and
animated evening.

Non members also welcome, so bring along a car load and share your views on the way forward
in the current turmoil within our industry. The restaurant will be open to serve light refreshments.

Follow the signs to Frome Market and Standerwick Market from the A36 and A361


In view of milk prices crashing around us, what can producers do to help themselves? Join FFA where you will find you are not alone in your total dispair at what is happening. It is no good just sitting back, typing YES in response to our Protest Survey, and taking it on the chin, hoping that somebody else will sort it out, it won't happen. Yes, we can get things done but we can' t do it alone and need your support.

We have been inundated with producers replying YES to our survey but many of you are not members. We are not just about standing outside milk plants in the middle of the night. Whilst this is the image that is generally portrayed, there is much more to FFA than this.

FFA's small, dedicated team negotiate before and after these events, with the people who basically threaten our livelihoods.
So let your conscience be pricked, please join or renew


Still need more signatures on this petition if only to keep this crisis to the fore
Get your family, neighbours, friends to sign it takes a minute or so.  Thank you.


Just a short update on the totally false accusations made by Dr Sohere Roker's in yesterday's Daily Mail.  As our members and followers on Facebook and Twitter will know we lodged a complaint yesterday with the Press Complaints Commission under Clause 1 - Inaccuracy.  Anyone is entitled to lodge a complaint here is the link

30/8/14  Daily Mail Article by Dr Sohere Rokee - FFA have lodged a complaint to the Press Complaints Commission.

29/8/14  MILK PRICES

As predicated in our e mail sent out to all members last week, prices have fallen dramatically this week, with the announcement from Muller Wiseman of 1.8ppl, with the announcement to be made shortly by Dairy Crest their price expected to be just short of Muller and a predicted price drop by First Milk which will surely be in excess of 1.5ppl.  If we as dairy farmers do not stand up and do something to stop this decrease continuing, we cannot see how british dairying can progress forward.  People will say you cannot buck global milk prices, we remind everyone over 80% of milk produced in this country is used domestically.  Therefore we should not be subject to these severe price cuts.  We are getting hints from processors that these cuts are being instigated  by their retail
customers.  This is unacceptable when if you go into any store you will see the prices of butter, cheese, liquid milk are still where they were 3 months ago,.  Profiteering or not? 


While any help to stop further decreases in future farmgate milk prices are welcome,  the latest support measure to come from the EU Commission in FFA's opinion falls very short in dealing with the issues.  The proposal by the Commission is to provide storage of dairy products, cheese, butter, smp,  for a period of 3/7 months.  Stock piling or storage achieves nothing because at some point that product has to come onto the market.  Our fear is if it runs its full course and comes out in 7 months time that will be bang on the start of a new milk year and this is likely to depress prices going into 2015. 

Farmers For Action has put forward a plan to the UK government (this is in the form of an e-petition
http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/68900 which we need everyone to sign.  The suggestion being made is that the government buys up the current stock levels and utilises CAP money to distribute that to the needy and there are plenty of those around worldwide.  This would be a win win situation for everyone as it takes stock out of the market, its feeds people who desperately need it and certainly in the UK it surely would give the government a boost in an up and coming election year.  Remember, stock piling depresses prices and prevents rapid recovery in the market place as history clearly shows.  Lets not make the same mistake again.

Mr Ciolos, Agricultural and Rural Development Commissioner at the EU needs to go back and look at the emergency measures.  Farmers For Action are always willing to come along and talk and give guidance, as others appear incapable of doing that,  should they welcome these emergency support measures.


Our e-petition is now on line

Our e-petition is now on line at http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/68900

Our last e-petition in 2012 regarding milk pricing achieved over 28,000 signatures!
Please sign and forward to keep this crisis to the fore.

27/8/14  Government e-petition

FFA have originated an e-petition.  Once this has been approved, we will publish link may take up to 7 days.
Text of Petition is as follows:-


Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Our Government's decision on Russia means British dairy farmers are about to face a catastrophic collapse in milk prices.
Stocks of cheese and butter have dramatically increased.
Farmers For Action www.farmersforaction.org suggest the Government should distribute the product to the needy through food banks.
Logistically this could be done; all it needs is a 'can do' attitude by those in a position to help.
With winter around the corner, we are sure that those less fortunate than ourselves would appreciate a plentiful supply of cheese and milk throughout the coming winter months to help feed themselves and their families.
Nutritionally, milk has been defined as the most nearly perfect food and provides more essential nutrients in significant amounts than any other single food. Why leave it in storage when it could make so many lives that little bit more bearable, and help the British dairy industry through this difficult time.

24/8/14 Interview with FFA Chairman in Independent on Sunday


Next week could be very gloomy times for UK dairy farmers. We expect prices to fall by as much as 2ppl for October milk. This will be blamed on global markets,
falls in powder prices, cream prices etc., etc.,


(New Zealand have to export 80% of their production)
(United Kingdom 80% of production used domestically)

Why, oh why are UK prices falling based on global markets?

Since FFA’s formation we have seen every excuse from blame the retailer, to now  blame the global market. In our view there is only one sector to blame and that is dairy farmers. We need to stand up and stop the decline in our milk prices unless you all feel as dairy farmers you can produce milk 365 days a year at prices below 25p because believe us that is where we are heading and we will be brave enough to predict that by December, we will see at least another 3p off milk prices if we do not do anything. According to our calculations feed prices would have to fall £100 per ton minimum for us go  through the winter producing milk at these prices. sure you will all accept that is not going to happen.

Dialogue is continuing on a daily basis with a war of words but is not stopping processors cutting the prices, month in, month out. Therefore, whether you agree with it or not there has to be some form of direct peaceful action to let both retailers, processors and government know that UK milk producers are not going to accept prices below 2011. It is unsustainable even for the top 25% if they are honest, to continue producing milk 365 a days a year at these prices.


We would like producers and all other interested parties to contact us with either a yes or no support for direct action and we emphasise to anyone who is worried these protests will be totally controlled and peaceful, working with the Police at all times. That is how we have won in the past and that is how we will win going forward. It is up to you to decide the future of British dairying. Do nothing, and the future for young dairy farmers looks grim, do something and we can secure their future going forward. Please respond - no response FFA will assume that everything in the parlour is ok.

e mail secretary@farmersforaction.org Text 07511 932076 with name, area/postcode and Yes or No

If you wish to join FFA or simply renew your membership please follow these links JOIN   RENEW


2012  Deductions, deductions......
2013  Deductions, deductions......
2014 Low moisture - good bushel weights - No premiums being paid! - grain merchants need to explain themselves!

Why is this happening, grain farmers have worked so hard in 2014 to achieve what the market requires at great cost, their reward - prices below cost of production.  This is not sustainable, yet   all others in the supply chain maintain their margins.

Grain, dairy, beef, pigs - all suffering  low prices.  Farmers need to come together and stop this rot once and for all.

 We must all act now to protect our livelihoods, nobody else will do it for us!


Saturday 28 June 2014 from 8 pm
Dancing to ‘The Old Gits’
(60’s music onwards)
S032 3NQ
By kind permission of the Venn family
Supper provided by Westlands Farm
Licensed Bar – Raffle
Tickets £15 including BBQ

Tickets available from:-
Bruce Horn Tel 01489 877365 or 07966 674846
Julie Helen - e mail Julie.helen@sparsholt.ac.uk
Sally Silvester Tel 02392 632549 or 07754 518298
Proceeds from the event will be divided between
Royal Agricultural Benevolent Institution (Reg Charity No 208858)
& Farmers For Action ( FFA)

What a great way to spend a summer evening, do come along and support the great charity that is RABI and also show your support for Farmers For Action.


We are again this year attending the event, stand No BM167, do come along and meet us and show your support.


FFA to launch major  campaign against falling beef prices

FFA Chairman, David Handley, stated "we can no longer sit back and watch beef prices collapse in the way they are".

 With the threat of a further Latin American deal in the offing, something has to be done to protect British beef farmers.  This is a massive economic part of our industry.  For several weeks now we have monitored both labeling of meat products and also carried our surveillance  at a number of meat processing plants.  The information gathered has led the FFA's committee to come to the decision - action has to be taken immediately!

We will continue to update the web site on this issue.


Ex NFU president, Tim Bennett has put his foot in it yet again.   This time in his role as Chairman of Food Standards Agency he turns on his own kind.  Hard working british farmers according to the FSA, are responsible for large numbers of people suffering from food poisoning.  When will Mr Bennett  realise farmers are the backbone of this country, they provide the one thing people need every day and that is food.  So please Mr Bennett, better to say nothing and keep your respect within the  farming community.


This morning in a press statement from Arla and we quote "Arlagarden will compliment Red Tractor not replace it".

Well, talk about a U Turn, well done to everybody for applying the pressure but Arla beware we will watch every move.  If you attempt to replace our Farm Assurance Scheme do so at your peril.

But FFA do feel sorry for Arla producers who will now have to comply with both farm assurance schemes but then with all your price increases I am sure your wallets will be big enough to cope (that comment of course in jest!)

First Milk

We understand farmer co-operative, First Milk, are to announce a new chairman and a number of farmer directors on Monday of next week.  FFA wonders whether this will be the genie in the lamp that starts to increase milk prices for its hardworking farmer members (the jury is out). 

8/8/13Red Tractor

In the last 24 hours FFA representatives have spoken to a number of organisations with regard to Arla's attempt to remove the Red Tractor logo from their business.  Most people that had been spoken to found this totally unacceptable and are committed to working with FFA to stop this from happening.  FFA will be calling on farmers over the coming weeks to sign a petition that they do not accept the removal of the Red Tractor Assurance Scheme from any processor in any sector of our industry.  We also will be contacting all retailers including Sainsburys, who have already removed the Red Tractor,   delivering a very strong message - try to destroy our heavily invested farm assurance scheme at your own peril as we intend to tell your customers the reasons you should not be allowed to remove Red Tractor.  To Asda, one of the largest retailers we say you need to persuade Arla your dedicated milk supplier to rethink their strategy going forward otherwise your customers will also see farmer representatives outside their shops very quickly.

7/8/13 Red Tractor Update

Last night's meeting at Flagg in Derbyshire sent a very strong message to Michael Madders, chair of Red Tractor and Robert Newbury, senior dairy adviser NFU. that  farmers are not prepared to see the Red Tractor Assurance Scheme demolished by Danish farmer owned company, Arla.  It is now up to farmers in all sectors to get behind a campaign to stop Arla or any other retailer or processor from exiting the Red Tractor Scheme which consumers throughout the land are now beginning to accept and certainly since the horse meat scandal that Red Tractor means they can buy the product with confidence that it is being produced to the highest standards.  David Handley, chair of FFA, has in the last 24 hours spoken with 2 CEOs of major processing plants and they have told him in no uncertain terms that Red Tractor must be protected at all costs as it enables them to sell great british products globally.  We will continue to update the website as to how the campaign is progressing and how you, the british farmer can assist.  We are hoping that all british farmer representative bodies will get behind this campaign and send a clear message Red Tractor is here to stay.

6/8/13 Meeting Derbyshire

Tonight there is a very important meeting being held at Flagg Village Hall,Flagg Village, Nr Buxton,  SK17 9QR for dairy farmers.  As many of you will be aware, milk processing company Arla are trying to ditch the Red Tractor in favour of their own farm assurance scheme.  At tonight's meeting organised by Derbyshire NFU, speaker Rob Newbury (Head of Dairy). Also present will be Michael Madders (Chairman of Red Tractor).  You need to be there to let your voice be heard at your disgust that anyone should be considering allowing Arla to exist Red Tractor because:-                                                                                                     

1 dairy farmers have invested heavily in Red Tractor over the years                                                                                                                                                                                                2 If Arla are allowed to come out of the Red Tractor certification it means they are then eligible to import liquid milk into the UK  This cannot be good for the future of the UK dairy industry

Please go along and let Mr Madders and Mr Newbury know that you are not prepared to accept this.  It is FFA's intention to spread the word across the whole of the UK.  If Arla Denmark wants to establish its business in the UK, it works under our terms not theirs FFA also intend to launch a campaign with consumers telling them exactly what Arla are up to.  Consumers are just getting confident in using the Red Tractor logo when doing their shopping and all of a sudden a European company is going to take that away.  Absolutely crazy, has to be stopped.


There will be an FFA meeting at Market Drayton Livestock Market on Thursday 16 May commencing 7.30 pm.

All are welcome.