Reports indicate that 40 farmers have been driving tractors slowly along the A50 on Friday, causing tailbacks of up to four miles between Stoke and Uttoxeter.
Police intercepted the demonstration and made the tractors travel in a single lane on the dual carriageway to a Dairy Crest milk processing site in Foston, Derbyshire.
Today’s demonstration occurs on the same day the UK’s largest milk co-op, Arla, announce a cut of 0.80p/l on milk price, taking to 23.01p/l from 3 August.
Over the past few weeks several meetings have been held in Britain over the falling price of milk and the potential action farmers should take. Farmers For Action (FFA) chairman David Handley has said that protests were inevitable if retailers did not begin to give a better value to milk.
However in a statement FFA condemned today’s protest stating: “The last people we should be dragging into our argument with retailers, food service industry, milk processors and the government is the general public.”
“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.”
The last such meeting was on Wednesday evening in Somerset, several organisations addressed farmers including FFA, Tenant Farmers' Association (TFA) and the National Farmers’ Union (NFU).
NFU dairy board chairman Rob Harrison was accused of not doing enough for the industry at Wednesday’s meeting however he responded stating that farmers must remain united.
In a statement Harrison said: ““There is no magic lever to pull that will make it all better. However, that doesn’t mean we should stop trying as organisations and as individuals. This is why the NFU is working with the FFA, TFA and others to help signpost help for the short term and find agreed solutions for the long term.”
Harrison has previously said the NFU would remain active in targeted discussions with retailers and government over the current issues in the dairy sector but that they would not be against calling members to protest “if there was a reason to go there.”