Turmoil on the Continent With Lower Milk Prices

UK - While dairy farmers in the UK are struggling to cover costs even as milk prices are rising, on the continent the situation is even worse, with many of the major buyers cutting the price farmers receive for their milk.
calendar icon 28 May 2008
clock icon 1 minute read

According to the Scotsman, on Monday an estimated 9,000 German farmers demonstrated outside a major dairy in Weihenstephan, while a large number of producers were planning to withhold milk from their regular outlets yesterday.

The news agency has reported that many supermarket chains have slashed the retail price of dairy products and these reductions have been passed right down the chain to farmers.

Ernst Halbmayr, an executive committee member of the European Milk Board, said: "Farmers are not delivering milk to the dairies.

"A similar situation is developing in Italy, France, Luxembourg and Spain."

It is difficult to compare the prices paid to Scottish dairy farmers with those received by their counterparts on mainland Europe or in the Republic of Ireland – where there is also considerable downward pressure. Prices in the rest of the EU tend to relate to kilograms of milk, whereas in the UK it is paid per litre, with some adjustments for butter fat and protein. But it is clear that ex-farm values have declined by more than 5 per cent in the past year on the continent.

  • View The Scotsman story by clicking here.
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