Dairy Farmers Not Out of the Woods Yet

UK - The Dairy Coalition has today called on milk buyers to be more transparent and clear about milk pricing policies and for more to be done to help ease the crisis in the dairy industry.
calendar icon 19 October 2012
clock icon 2 minute read

Following Coalition meetings with processors, retailers, milkmen and dairy farmers the clear emerging theme is a lack of transparency about where money is going and who is getting what from the market.

Members of the Dairy Coalition, the NFU, NFU Cymru, NFU Scotland, FFA, TFA, WFU and the RABDF, met today at Stoneleigh and called for transparent milk pricing policies, clearer country of origin labelling and further price rises for struggling British dairy farmers to ensure the UK dairy industry can move towards a sustainable future.

Speaking after the meeting Farmers for Action chairman David Handley said: “Just last week I met representatives of the doorstep milk delivery industry, who have experienced significant price inflation. I’ve met retailers who claim to be paying more for milk and processors who claim their margins are non-existent, but at the end of the day, farmers are barely 0.5ppl better off than six months ago, yet their costs of production have risen by at least 2ppl.”

Mansel Raymond, NFU dairy board chairman said: “All we want is a fair deal for the consumer, the farmers and those in between. As a coalition we will be closely monitoring dairy markets in the coming weeks. We need to know we are getting our fair share out of the market.

“Dairy farmers are telling us they are on borrowed time – costs are spiralling, banks are becoming less understanding and all the while we have the health and welfare of cows to maintain through what is set to be a financially very difficult winter.

Gary Mitchell, chairman of the NFUS milk committee, said: “Our members are telling us; no milk buyer can be allowed to get away with holding back cash owed to farmers. The bills are mounting and patience is fraying. Whether on a liquid or cheese contract, dairy farmers need to know that improvements in the market are immediately translated into farm gate price rises.”

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