NFU Scotland has today demanded a milk price rise from all the major companies
who purchase milk.
Many of those who process milk claim that the main factor in
setting the prices paid to farmers is the demand for lower value
products such as milk powder, cream and butter. However, now
that prices for these products have risen substantially*, in
some cases to a six-year high, the processors have yet to offer
a corresponding increase in the prices they pay for milk.
Jim McLaren, NFU Scotland Vice-President, said:
“If the milk market really does work in the way in which
the major processors would have us believe, then it’s time
that milk producers saw the swinging price cuts introduced this
summer put into reverse.
“Milk buyers reduced farmgate milk prices prematurely
in anticipation of poorer cream, butter and powder prices but
this drop hasn’t occurred. Since early July, butter prices
in the UK have gone up by £50 per tonne and skimmed milk
powder by £100 per tonne but because many farmgate prices
are now set until 2007, processors are reaping all of the benefit
and farmers are seeing none.
“The processor Robert Wiseman Dairies, assured its producers,
after announcing a price drop effective from 1 August 2006, that
they would monitor cream values on an ongoing basis, using Milk
Development Council figures as a benchmark. According to the
MDC, cream prices have increased in the past two months. If Wiseman
Dairies intend to remain true to their word then it’s time
that their commitment to paying in accordance with cream prices
worked in reverse.
“Arla made a similar justification on milk price cuts
based on expectations that powder and butter prices would fall.
The reality is that prices are soaring.
“Here is an opportunity for the industry to send out a
clear signal that it wishes to participate in a brighter future
for milk and dairy products in the UK. This will only happen
if the prices paid to farmers start to recognise the huge increase
in the costs faced at farm level and allow for investment in
“Given the current market conditions, a significant price
increase to dairy farmers is totally justified and failure by
the main milk processors to deliver this will speak volumes about
their commitment to those supplying them with milk.”
Taste Award for Sandyknowe Yogurt Drinks
Union Addresses Major Supermarket Conference
diversification opportunities at the Dairy Event 2006