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Stackyard News Jul 2012

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Milk Crisis: Processors Still Have Some Way to Go

The Tenant Farmers Association continues to be disappointed at the lack of response from dairy processors to calls from farmers to be paid at least the cost of production for the milk which they are producing.

"The demands of our dairy farmers are not excessive."

fairer prices for dairy farmers

TFA Chief Executive, George Dunn said "The demands of our dairy farmers, who produce a quality product and look after a substantial area of our iconic countryside, are not excessive. It is not unreasonable to be asking for a fair return for their labour and investment. Dairy farmers put their hearts and souls into looking after their cows and have spent years making their businesses as efficient as possible. The recent price reductions are therefore a real kick in the teeth particularly as they have been forced upon them in an unfair marketplace which needs urgent regulation”.

The Tenant Farmers Association will be represented at the meetings taking place today at the Royal Welsh Showground as part of the negotiations to achieve a fair return for dairy farmers.

“We have got to pay tribute to our dairy farmers for the passionate but peaceful protests within which they have been involved in past days. Although we have seen some movement from retailers which will help a relatively small number of producers who are fortunate enough to have liquid milk contracts aligned with those retailers, we have seen little movement from the processors who over many years have been able to maintain their margins despite the market conditions. It is time for milk processors to make a move and it is time for the Government to commit to ensuring that we have a regulatory framework which means we never get ourselves into this position again,” said Mr Dunn.

“It has been heartening to hear consumers and consumer representative groups stating that they would be prepared to pay more for milk if they knew that farmers were receiving a fair return. But the truth is that there is sufficient margin within the current retail price for all involved in the milk supply chain to be properly recompensed for the role that they play in bringing fresh milk and dairy products to the kitchen tables of our nation," said Mr Dunn.

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