Call for Churches to Back Dairy Farmers

by Gerry Lynch last modified 26 Jan, 2015 03:19 PM

Christian charity says low milk price and late payments are putting farmers out of business.

Call for Churches to Back Dairy Farmers

Dairy cattle near Draycot Foliat, Wilts. (C) 2008, Brian Robert Marshall under Creative Commons 2.0.

Following the recent announcement from Glasgow-based First Milk to delay payments to farmers, a Christian rural charity is calling on churches to pray for and support dairy farmers.

The Arthur Rank Centre, which seeks to meet both the spiritual and practical needs of the rural Christian community, says low prices and late payments are driving dairy farmers to the wall.

“The number of dairy farmers has halved over little more than a decade,” said Arthur Rank Centre CEO Jerry Marshall. “Prices are at their lowest since 2007 while costs have risen 36%. On top of this, the recent announcement by First Milk that they are delaying payments by two weeks, presents significant cash flow difficulties to their suppliers.“

“British Dairy farmers are facing an exceptionally difficult time so we are calling on churches to pray for the industry, said Revd Elizabeth Clark, National Rural Officer for the Methodist Church and the United Reformed Church. “Give thanks for the vital food that dairy farmers produce, pray for those struggling because of the present low prices and pray especially for those famers who sell their milk to First Milk whose pay cheques have been delayed.”

Assured Food Standards Logo“Churches can also support the industry by buying British dairy products,” said Canon Dr Jill Hopkinson, National Rural Officer for the Church of England. “When buying milk, butter, cheese and yoghurt look for the red tractor logo which tells you it is a British product. Church members could also show their support through choosing to buy milk from supermarkets that pay a fair price to farmers. Visit http://www.nfuonline.com/back-british-farming/news-channel/how-can-i-support-british-dairy-farmers/ to find out how.

Prayer

Loving God, we give you thanks for all the food that is produced for us by farmers every day. We thank you especially for milk, a vital food, which we don’t always fully appreciate. We pray for dairy farmers and the particular pressures that they face at this present time. We remember farmers under pressure because of low prices and late milk payments, may they know the peace of your presence. May we consumers never take our food for granted and may we value and support those who work tirelessly to feed us.  This we ask in Jesus name, Amen.

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