Dairy farmers in new milk protest
A milk processing plant was blockaded by angry farmers fighting to get a better income.
Farmers say the decreasing prices they are getting for their milk is threatening the future of British dairy farming.
On Wednesday night, about 300 farmers from around the region blocked the roads outside the Arla Foods factory in Ashby, closing it for more than five hours.
Andrew Hemming, a spokesman for Farmers for Action, which organised Wednesday's blockade, said: "We shut the plant down from 6.45pm on Wednesday and we kept it shut until 12.15am.
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"We were invited to a conference call with the chairman of Arla and there was a long discussion. There is progress being made."
Dairy farmers saw the price they receive for a litre of milk slashed from 28p to 26p in the spring. The price was due to drop by another 2p earlier this month.
Protests succeeded in forcing the major milk processors to abandon the August cut but the farmers' campaign has continued.
When the dairy farmers had their first price cut in the spring there was relatively little objection – but it was the threatened price cut in August that prompted the action.
Now the farmers will not give up their campaign until prices rise.
Mr Hemming said: "They thought that if we were willing to let them cut the price by 2p in the spring without a fight they could do it again. But they were wrong.
"They have rescinded the August price cut but we still want the spring cut reversed. We would normally agree feed prices for the year in September but it's looking like it's going to be hard to agree a price with suppliers because they don't know where feed prices will be when the US drought has its knock-on effect.
"Everything points to prices going higher."
Brian Dalby, who farms near Lutterworth, has been involved in recent protests.
He said: "We still need a price increase and we want it by September.
"We may have stopped the price increase in August but 26p a litre isn't enough for us to make a living.
"The price needs to rise back to 28p and beyond if we want to have a sustainable dairy industry in this country."
Arla foods, which owns the Ashby plant, declined to comment.