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Stackyard News Jan 06

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    Wiseman Milk Price Move Must Stop The Rot

photo courtesy of
milking parlour

The decision by Robert Wiseman Dairies to maintain its farmgate milk in January must mark the end of the tit-for-tat price cuts inflicted on dairy farms towards the end of 2005, according to NFU Scotland.

NFUS believes that the New Year must mark the beginning of an improved attitude amongst processors and retailers towards farmer suppliers. NFUS understands that processors are currently engaged in discussions to ensure their customers recognise their increased costs. NFUS believes that clear increases in the cost of producing milk at farm level must also be reflected.

NFUS President John Kinnaird said:

"The Wiseman price is still only on or below the cost of production for most dairy farmers, so no-one is going to be celebrating the price staying at that same level. However, I do believe that this should mark the end of the tat-for-tat price cuts that the major milk processors have been involved in. The Wiseman decision demonstrates that there is absolutely no justification for any processor dropping prices further at this time.

"Last year, the anger and frustration amongst our dairy members was clear for all to see. At a time when their production costs rose and the shelf price of milk increased, they found themselves in the ridiculous position of facing cut after cut in the farmgate price.

"The New Year has to be a new start. We need to stop the rot caused by the price war waged by the big players in the industry. The turn of the year must be the beginning of all parties working together to secure a more equitable and trustworthy supply chain, from which everyone will benefit. I know that processors have faced increased costs, with packaging costs hitting them particularly hard. However, dairy farms have faced huge increases as well, particularly in energy costs. These simply must be reflected in price discussions."

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National Farmers' Union
NFU Scotland

Robert Wiseman Dairies
Robert Wiseman Dairies