Special milk meeting for the South Tyrone producers

50 April 1 1970 Meeting SM Farm

A special meeting of milk producers in the South Tyrone UFU Group is to be held to discuss the over production of milk in Northern Ireland and the present price structure.

This was decided at the annual meeting of the Group in Ballygawley last Monday night when milk prices came under discussion.

Mr Alex Watson, of the Ballygawley branch, said the price at present being paid for milk was unsatisfactory.

The Price Review only allowed for payment of grant on about the first 100 million gallons each year. But at the moment Ulster farmers were producing about 150 million gallons.

Because the farmer was over producing he was having to sell about 50 million gallons at a low price for the production of milk products. This meant the value of the guaranteed price was being diluted.

Mr Watson pressed for a resolution asking the Milk Marketing Board to impose quotas on milk producers in Northern Ireland totalling 100 million gallons. This, he said, would mean the people contributing to over production would be penalised.

Mr A E Gibson said that this was one point of view but if it was put into practice it would give the foreign producer a better foothold on the British market.

He said another school of thought was that the Government should put levies on imported goods. The money raised from this could be used to subsidise the home produced goods further.

This was the policy of the Conservative Party and would be put into operation if they got into power.

Mr Arthur Noble of Clogher urged the meeting not to do “anything in haste”.

He suggested a special meeting of milk producers from the area should be convened to which Milk Marketing Board representatives and union leaders would be invited.

Addressing the meeting earlier, Mr Gibson outlined the negotiations leading up to the Review and with the aid of charts, he and Mr Frank Espley, UFU field supervisor, explained the implications of the Review awards.

Mr Gibson said the British Government seemed determined to keep the consumer prices down. He did not see why they were doing this as the workers were getting rises all the time.

“We must fight this, as it has got to be overcome,” he declared. “It will be a hard long struggle but we will have to get something done about it.”

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