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Ahead of elections on Friday 7th June, Lakeland Dairies has urged candidates in the Member of the European Parliament (MEP) election to stand up and be “champions” for dairying.

Lakeland Dairies is a dairy processing co-operative with a turnover of €1.6bn. It has 3,200 farm family suppliers producing 2bn litres of milk annually. This milk is used to make 240 products which are exported to over 100 global markets.

Lakeland Dairies has written to all 27 MEP candidates standing in the Midlands North West constituency asking them to prioritise three key issues in the next Parliament.

To emphasise the importance of the dairy sector to the region, Lakeland Dairies has sent an empty carton of its popular Champion brand milk to each of the candidates, asking them never to allow anyone in Europe to imagine a rural Ireland without milk production.

Empty cartons and fewer farms 

Commenting on the campaign, Lakeland Dairies’ Chairperson Niall Matthews said:

“Champion is an iconic brand that has been in the fridges of families in our catchment for decades. The carton of milk we sent the candidates is usually full of healthy, nutritious and sustainable milk produced by our farm families 365-days a year.

“However, our industry is worried that unless we are supported over the next five years there could be a lot more empty milk cartons and fewer farmers by the time of the next election.

“We are asking the politicians to stand with our farm families and be Champions for agriculture and for the rural communities in our catchment area.  We cannot allow anyone in Europe to imagine a rural Ireland without milk production.

“We are standing on the precipice of enormous change but our farmers and the industry are fully committed to embracing this change. We do, however, require the backing and support of our MEPs more than ever.”