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TRIBUTES TO FARM MILK CAMPAIGNER; Sudden death of farmer who fought for fair prices.


TRIBUTES have been paid to a campaigning Warwickshire farmer who led this summer's protests for fair milk prices.

Andrew Hemming, 54, who was chairman for the Central Warwickshire branch of the National Farmers' Union died suddenly while he was in Yorkshire attending a function of campaign group Farmers For Action.

It is believed he suffered a heart attack at the Great Yorkshire Showground.

Mr Hemming was Farmers For Action's vice-chairman and campaigned tirelessly for fair prices for dairy farmers and fair trading of British produce.

This summer he spearheaded protests across the Midlands as part of the SOS Dairy campaign for fair milk prices, targeting processors and supermarkets. He led 700 farmers in blockades at processing plants in Worcestershire and Derbyshire, after cuts of up to 2p a litre in the amount farmers receive from major milk processors and retailers.

At the time he said: "We have got a fantastic momentum going. I have never seen support like it in all the years I have been involved with Farmers for Action.

"There is anger and desperation but everyone is pulling together. We won't be giving in, I can assure you of that."

He also spoke out in July after an investigation found celebrity chef Jamie Oliver was buying milk from processors who pay farmers below the cost of production.

The celebrity chef had joined Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall in a campaign urging consumers to buy only from shops that offered farmers a fair deal.

A statement from Farmers For Action reads: "It is with great sadness we report that FFA vice chairman, Andrew Hemming, tragically passed away suddenly on Saturday, December 15.

"Andrew was attending a function on behalf of Farmers For Action with his wife Judith.

"Our heartfelt thoughts and prayers are with Judith, their children and family at this very sad time."

The tenant farmer who had his own herd of 200 dairy cows at Obelisk Farm, Hockley Heath, was recognised nationally as an activist and his supporters have vowed to carry on his work.


FAIR MILK PRICE FIGHT: Andrew Hemming at a protest at milk prices
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Publication:Coventry Evening Telegraph (England)
Date:Dec 29, 2012
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