FARMERS met with Eddisbury MP Stephen O’Brien at Beeston Market to discuss problems with the dairy industry.
Louise Young from the Nantwich NFU joined Mr O’Brien and NFU senior policy advisor Adam Briggs, county vice-chairman Rob Ford and NFU representatives from Chester and Winsford to debate farming issues in the area.
The state of the dairy industry was discussed and calls for a Supermarket Ombudsman to help farmers and other suppliers receive a fair deal through the supply chain.
Other issues of concern included the continuing credit crunch for those working in the rural economy, rising feed costs, the need to control TB in cattle and the time spent on paperwork and red tape.
Mr O’Brien said: “Urgent action is needed. The credit crunch in the rural economy is continuing to have a massive impact on local businesses and too many of our farmers are still finding it difficult to access finance for investment.
“Many more are receiving a raw deal on their current banking arrangements. The Government needs to get a grip of the banks in which the taxpayer is a majority shareholder.
“Instead of paying massive bonuses with our money, it should be used to increase the availability of credit for the rural businesses which provide over 440,000 jobs across Britain.
“Since 1997 British farmers have been treated as dispensable and we have become increasingly dependent on imports of meat, dairy produce and vegetables which we can produce ourselves.
“It is a nonsense that we are not totally self-sufficient when the best dairy producers in the world are here on our doorstep in Cheshire.”