Long, Unprofitable Winter Ahead For Dairy Farmers

WALES, UK - Massive rises in feed, fuel and fertiliser costs mean a long and unprofitable winter for Welsh dairy farmers unless milk purchasers step up to the mark and pay their producers a sustainable milk price. That is the message from NFU Cymru at this year’s Pembrokeshire County Show.
calendar icon 16 August 2011
clock icon 2 minute read
National Farmers Union

Latest figures compiled by DairyCo show that intensive energy dairy rations are up 28 per cent on this time last year, low energy rations are up 33 per cent and protein rations are up nearly 20 per cent on last year’s figures.

This equates to an expensive year when you also add on top the cost for conserving home grown forage with Ammonium Nitrate prices 50 per cent up on this time last year and blends on average 30 per cent higher and with agricultural fuel up by nearly a quarter.

Pembrokeshire NFU Cymru County Chairman, David James, a milk producer himself put this in perspective by saying: “Despite these huge increases in our costs over the past year, milk price on average has only moved by around 11 per cent in the same period, the gap continues to widen between what we receive for our milk and what it costs to produce."

“What makes it all the more annoying is that based on market conditions we should be receiving around 32-33 pence a litre for our milk rather than the UK farmgate average of 26.61ppl. This price based purely on what the market can and should be paying producers for their milk is the difference between profit and loss.”

Mr James continued: “The European Commission High Level Group, EFRA select Committee and a recent DairyCo report on Asymmetric price transmission in the dairy supply chain all pinpoint the weak position of farmers which can only be addressed by improving our negotiating and bargaining power."

“The evidence overwhelmingly points to a need to build in fair and equitable trading conditions for farmers within the supply chain. I would hope that milk purchasers could seen for themselves the inequalities that currently exist within the dairy industry, frankly with a few exceptions their actions historically, and so far this year, show their complete disregard for our plight."

“This is why we see the full implementation of the European Commission Dairy Package as a crucial starting point to help us address the failure of the market place to deliver a fair return for Welsh dairy farmers. We will use every opportunity we have over the course of the show to get our message across to our political representatives.”

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