The decision by Robert Wiseman Dairies to maintain its farmgate milk in January
must mark the end of the tit-for-tat price cuts inflicted on dairy farms towards
the end of 2005, according to NFU Scotland.
NFUS believes that the New Year must mark the beginning of an
improved attitude amongst processors and retailers towards farmer
suppliers. NFUS understands that processors are currently engaged
in discussions to ensure their customers recognise their increased
costs. NFUS believes that clear increases in the cost of producing
milk at farm level must also be reflected.
NFUS President John Kinnaird said:
"The Wiseman price is still only on or below the cost of
production for most dairy farmers, so no-one is going to be celebrating
the price staying at that same level. However, I do believe that
this should mark the end of the tat-for-tat price cuts that the
major milk processors have been involved in. The Wiseman decision
demonstrates that there is absolutely no justification for any
processor dropping prices further at this time.
"Last year, the anger and frustration amongst our dairy
members was clear for all to see. At a time when their production
costs rose and the shelf price of milk increased, they found
themselves in the ridiculous position of facing cut after cut
in the farmgate price.
"The New Year has to be a new start. We need to stop the
rot caused by the price war waged by the big players in the industry.
The turn of the year must be the beginning of all parties working
together to secure a more equitable and trustworthy supply chain,
from which everyone will benefit. I know that processors have
faced increased costs, with packaging costs hitting them particularly
hard. However, dairy farms have faced huge increases as well,
particularly in energy costs. These simply must be reflected
in price discussions."
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