More than six months after massive protest meetings over the low price of milk, farming leaders this week called on dairy buyers, processors, retailers and the food service sector to commit to British farmers – including “an urgent and meaningful price rise”.
The dairy coalition – consisting of the NFU, NFU Cymru, NFU Scotland, Farmers For Action, Tenant Farmers Association, Welsh Farmers Union and the Royal Association of British Dairy Farmers – said the increase was necessary because of higher costs of production.
NFU dairy board chairman Mansel Raymond said that there had recently been proof of significant price rises in key commodities such as cheese, butter and milk powders on the world market.
“This clearly demonstrates that, globally, demand is strong and supplies are tight,” he said. “Yet we’re still hearing that crippling deals being done in the domestic cheese and liquid markets are putting milk prices under pressure.”
Currently farm gate prices range from 27p per litre to 33p and they average only 1p more than they did 12 months ago.
“For UK dairy production to have a sustainable future, the only way these prices can possibly go is up,” said Raymond.
Farmers For Action chairman David Handley said he was “hugely frustrated” by the apparent lack of traction in the UK market: “We know our milk is valuable and in short supply, we know our consumer, the British public want to support British dairy, so why are we still failing to realise a sustainable price? We need action by milk buyers now.”
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Sunday 19 May 2013
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