MP raises concerns over milk payments

Ripon MP Julian Smith.

Ripon MP Julian Smith.

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Ripon MP Julian Smith has raised concerns over a delay in payments to farmers for their milk.

First Milk, a dairy co-operative, announced they were deferring payments due on Monday, January 12, by two weeks. The company is also asking for more capital investment from farmers in the future.

Following concerns expressed to Mr Smith, he has written to First Milk to seek clarification on the decision and their plans for the future.

He has also written to the Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs to update her on the concern this is causing and ask if there is any more her Department can do to help.

Mr Smith said: “Dairy farming, and particularly the price paid for milk, is always near the top of my agenda and I have met with farmers regularly in recent years to hear about the continual challenge they face.

“This announcement from First Milk has caused understandable concern within the industry.

“I hope to get further clarity from the company about why they have taken the decision to delay payment and ensure they are aware of the impact this could have on farmers who may have payments due in the coming weeks.”