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    Dairy Farmer Despair At Milk Price Cuts
02/03/06

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 2006.

photo courtesy of www.jennifermackenzie.co.uk

milk parlour

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 of producers.

“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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