The announcement today by First Milk of a 0.75 pence per litre cut in the
farmgate milk price is a further bitter blow for dairy farmers, according
to NFU Scotland.
Milk Committee Chairman Willie Lamont said:
“The First Milk move follows cuts by all the major milk processors.
This is part of a destructive downward spiral which is threatening the future
of Scotland’s remaining dairy farms.
“Our dairy members across the country are questioning their future
given the inability, and indeed in some cases unwillingness, of processors
and supermarkets to pay a sustainable price. The fact that First Milk has
little option but to follow these moves demonstrates that farmers remain
price takers in the absence of real strength in the market place.
“First Milk members need to see the co-operatives’ new strategy
as a matter of urgency. In a short-term game of slashing prices, farmers
need a long-term strategy if they are to even think about milking cows beyond
this winter. Processors and supermarkets’ vision has been made crystal
clear - maximise profits for shareholders. First Milk’s strategy must
pinpoint how it will tackle that destructive climate, secure the long-term
support of its members and stand firm for a sustainable price.
“We are fighting for a structure which allows co-operatives to develop
in the same way as those elsewhere and for a supply chain which eliminates
exploitation and rewards quality. We are making huge progress on those fronts
and I am confident we will win the fight. But once we have the structure,
we must make it work for us.”
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