Scot Confidence Milked Dry

UK - Despite of the a recent improvement of milk price paid by one major retailer, confidence among dairy farmers is still at rock bottom.
calendar icon 2 April 2008
clock icon 3 minute read

In fact, the dithering by others in the industry to follow this upward movement in price is more likely to spark a crisis of confidence in the future than spur milk production onwards.

National Farmers Union Scotland says that the latest dairy market update from the milk levy body, DairyCo, shows that, in the UK, daily deliveries of milk in March were 1.5 million litres per day lower than normal. This contrasts starkly with several other European countries where milk production has been surging ahead.

"They need to get their hands in their pockets now and pay a fair price for the milk, cheese, butter and yoghurt that they source."
NFU Scotland Milk Committee chairman, Willie Lamont

NFU Scotland Milk Committee chairman, Willie Lamont said:

“If retailers and milk purchasers are sitting scratching their heads wondering why farmers are not responding to current farmgate milk prices by producing more milk then they need to get their backsides out the office and into a milking parlour.

“The cost of producing milk has gone through the roof. Wheat, the basic fuel for our cows, is currently selling at £190 per tonne when it was fetching £90 per tonne this time last year. The fertiliser that we need to grow our grass was costing £150 per tonne in March 2007 and has now broken the £300 per tonne barrier.

“Retailers cannot claim to be acting responsibly while at the same time failing to fully recognise the true value and cost associated with the milk and dairy products that they are stocking their shelves with. They need to get their hands in their pockets now and pay a fair price for the milk, cheese, butter and yoghurt that they source. If they don’t, then their claims of supporting dairy farmers and their apparent concern over security of supply will be seen as little more than lip service.

“Milk purchasers must also step up to the plate. The key purchasers in Scotland have made recent public statements regarding their attempts to secure much needed price increases from the market in order to return a fairer price to their farmer suppliers. We applaud their efforts but recognise that their farmers will judge them based on their success. With milk in short supply, those purchasers that fail to deliver may see those producers who see their future in milk production vote with their feet.

“This should be a buoyant time for the dairy industry. There is growing demand from consumers for fresh milk and cheese, world markets are starting to strengthen again and currency is in our favour. If the rest of the supply chain wants to stake a claim in what should be a very healthy future then they need to wake up to the reasons why milk production in this country is currently heading down the pan. They can start by paying a fair and proper price.”

TheCattleSite News Desk

© 2000 - 2024 - Global Ag Media. All Rights Reserved | No part of this site may be reproduced without permission.