'Dairy godmother' delivers 300 free pints of milk in protest over prices

Consumers are being urged to pressure supermarkets for fairer deal for dairy producers.

Milk: Police are investigating the disappearance of 170 cartons.

A farmer has been dubbed the "dairy grandmother" after delivering 300 free pints of milk to urge consumers to press supermarkets for a fair deal for dairy producers.

Dairy farmers are paid up to 6p less than the production costs for their milk while supermarkets make "considerable profits", according to the National Farmers Union (NFU).

To highlight their concerns, East Lothian dairy farmer Simon McCreery joined NFU president Nigel Miller on a milk float in Edinburgh for a "secret milk round".

Free pints of milk produced from Mr McCreery's cows on his farm at Yester Mains near Gifford were delivered to 300 homes on Friday, earning him the nickname "the dairy godmother".

A NFU spokesman said: "The secret milk round recognises that dairy farmers all over Scotland want to say thank you to Scottish consumers for their support over the years.

"However, it's easy to take the availability of fresh Scottish milk, cheese, butter and other dairy products for granted.

"While Scottish dairy farmers are proud to be able to provide such quality products, recent cuts mean that most are to be paid a price for their milk that is around 5p to 6p per litre less than what it costs to produce.

"As a result, many Scottish dairy farmers face the difficult decision about whether they can afford to keep milking their cows - putting the supply of fresh Scottish milk, cheese and other dairy products at risk."

The spokesman said supermarkets make "considerable profit" on every pint of milk or block of cheese sold, while farmers lose money on every litre of milk they produce.

He added: "We don't think that's fair and many Scottish consumers share that view.

"The dairy godmother will be encouraging consumers to contact supermarkets and ask them to deliver a fair deal to Scottish dairy farmers to ensure those who are involved in supplying the Scottish public with fresh milk, cheese and dairy products every day receive a fair price for their milk."

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