THE dairy industry is in jeopardy, with hundreds of farmers turning their backs on loss-making businesses.
Government statistics reveal there are just 11,743 dairy farmers in England and Wales compared to about 32,000 a decade ago.
Since June 2008, 438 dairy farmers from England and 71 from Wales have left the industry.
The North West alone has lost 118 dairy farmers in that time.
These shocking statistics reveal the true crisis facing the dairy industry, and with the collapse of milk cooperative Dairy Farmers of Britain, the situation is set to get worse.
Malpas farmer Barbara Hughes has been campaigning hard to raise awareness of the plight of farmers in the area.
A former Dairy Farmers of Britain council member and National Dairy chairman of the Women’s Food and Farming Union, she is looking to the government to support the industry.
Barbara said farmers have welcomed this week the Conservatives Emergency Dairy Summit, led by Shadow Farming Minister Jim Paice.
Barbara said: “We never, never through a Labour Government have had anything passed that would support the farming industry.
“In Wales they have helped their farmers, they have people in Government with a background in farming, so they know the problems we face.
“We have no ambassador and this has to change.
“Something needs to be done.”