Scotland’s hard-pressed dairy farmers have received a further slap
in the face with the confirmation that Robert Wiseman Dairies will reduce
the milk price it pays direct suppliers by 0.65pence per litre from 1 March
This follows on from the announcement in late January that the UK’s
biggest milk processor, Arla, was reducing its farmgate milk price by 0.9
pence per litre for February and March.
Reacting to the announcement, Milk Committee Chairman Willie Lamont said:
“Recent company statements from certain retailers and processors that
boast about paying farmers a milk price of just above 19 pence per litre
ring hollow when the true cost of production - taking into account
the increase in fuel and fertiliser prices this year - is easily above
19 pence per litre.
“Similarly, comparing one company’s farmgate price against another
means little when the reality is that a bad milk price is a bad milk price.
“Retail customers and dairy firms need to start taking responsibility
for their actions if they wish security of supply in the future. At the turn
of the year, liquid milk processors built their own case regarding the increased
costs of fuel and packaging and were successful in getting their customers
to recognise those costs as part of a package which saw consumers face higher
retail prices for milk.
“Processors chose to paddle their own canoes and did not take the
opportunity to highlight the increased costs faced by their supplying farmers.
Instead, having covered their additional costs from the marketplace, they
have now instigated another round of farmgate price cuts that will have the
effect of improving the company’s bottom line profits at the expense
“Those liquid milk processors involved in this current tit-for-tat
price war have stated that stability of milk pricing is desirable. They have
already wasted one opportunity to deliver on that and unless they deliver
soon then their comments will be seen as little more than lip service by
beleaguered dairy farmers.”
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