Milk Processors Slammed for Atrocious Behaviour

UK - The National Farming Union (NFU) has called on milk processors to stop exploiting dairy farmers following the news that four major companies are to cut farm gate milk prices.
calendar icon 8 May 2012
clock icon 2 minute read
National Farmers Union

In the past two weeks, Dairy Crest, Robert Wiseman, Arla and Muller have announced cuts to their suppliers of exactly two pence per litre (ppl).

The action backs NFU claims that something is fundamentally wrong with the dairy market.

NFU dairy board chairman Mansel Raymond said: “Dairy farming is fundamentally a long term exercise. Investment, breeding, skills and a range of other elements allow farmers to improve their businesses to meet market demands, reduce their environmental impact and generally strive to fulfil the requirements of a growing population with dairy at the heart of its diet. It is therefore catastrophic that short- termism further up the supply chain has led to cuts which mean a typical farmer will lose out on around £20,000 per year.

“These buyers claim to be building long-term relationships with suppliers and customers and demand specific standards to match. Yet when an opportunity to cut farmers’ milk prices presents itself, it seems this all means nothing. Milk buyers transferring losses, accrued as a result of their own business strategies, to farmers whose businesses are already struggling is totally unsustainable.

“This raft of milk price cuts exposes the fundamental problems in milk contracts. As long as milk processors can get away with this atrocious behaviour, it seems they will do so.

“Farmers need and deserve contracts where their basic terms are clear, specifically on price. The status quo where buyers can change the deal and cut prices without consequence is fundamentally wrong and must change.”

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