Milk protests at Stranraer Show

Two standing at the back are: Jan Dunlop and Lisa Hannah (blue bikini) 'In the bath left to right: Eilsa McWilliam, Sarah McWilliam, Sarah Watson, Jill McClintock 'In the background, MSP Alex Fergusson and MP David Mundell, beside David is NFU Scotland Vice-President Allan Bowie and local dairy farmers John Watson and Gary Mitchell
Two standing at the back are: Jan Dunlop and Lisa Hannah (blue bikini) 'In the bath left to right: Eilsa McWilliam, Sarah McWilliam, Sarah Watson, Jill McClintock 'In the background, MSP Alex Fergusson and MP David Mundell, beside David is NFU Scotland Vice-President Allan Bowie and local dairy farmers John Watson and Gary Mitchell

After the summer from hell the sun finally appeared in the sky in time for Wednesday’s Stranraer Show.

As thousands flocked to the annual display of the finest of livestock, dairy farmers used the annual gathering to highlight their battle to secure a better price for their milk.

Outside the NFUS tent in the showfield, young ladies in bikinis sat in a bath of milk to focus public attention on local farmers’ anger with milk processors who intend to cut the price they pay per litre by 2p next week, following a 2p cut last month, meaning dairy farmers are in the unsustainable position of being paid less than it costs them to produce the milk.

Joining the protest were Con­servative MP David Mundell, the under-secretary of State for Scotland, and Galloway Tory MSP Alex Fergusson.

Mr Mundell said: “I am pleased to be here today to listen to the dairy farmers because it is essential that we have a sustainable industry.

“I hope the voluntary code of practice agreed works but if it doesn’t the government will look at bringing in legislation. The supermarkets have promised a fair price but they haven’t delivered. We see adverts on the television all the time about how well they treat their producers but it’s just spin. We must put pressure on the supermarkets to ensure that the dairy farmers are getting a fair price.

Mr Fergusson added: “This 
protest is a fun way of high­lighting a really serious issue. Now the UK and Scottish gov­ern­ments must work together to support the dairy farmers.”

The show was declared “a great success” by chairman Charles “Chic” Service. He said: “It was an excellent day and everyone enjoyed themselves and the weather was very kind.

“There was a magnificent display of stock and the show was a great success.”

A crisis meeting between Stewartry Agricultural Society and the Stewartry Rugby Club 
will take place tomrrow (Satur­day) to decide whether the Stewartry Agricultural Show goes ahead next Thursday.

Due to the recent rainfall there are concerns about the condition of the ground. If more rain is forecast for next week, show organisers are preparing to pull the plug on the show.

n Editorial – page 14