Stop playing Russian Roulette with the Dairy Industry
The Farmers’ Union of Wales today described Robert Wiseman Dairies’ decision to once again slash its farm-gate milk price as an utter disgrace and a devastating blow to the industry.
“This decision will have a devastating effect on dairy producers and family run dairy farms in particular will be feeling the hit,” said FUW milk and dairy produce committee chairman Dei (CORRECT) Davies, of Holywell, Flintshire.
“The announcement of a 1.7ppl drop by Wisemans following the reported 2ppl drop by Wisemans, Dairy Crest and other suppliers in April this year blatantly shows that current dairy contracts are far from working and that processors are not being held accountable,” added Mr Davies.
“From August this year, Wiseman Dairies will only be paying a standard litre price of 24.73ppl, which is around 5ppl below the cost of production.”
Wiseman have blamed the price cut on a collapse in the value of cream. However, failings in the dairy supply chain mean that such lower market returns are mainly being felt by the producer.
The delay in passing higher market returns back to the producer only serves to further disadvantage milk producers and has led to an unsustainable situation, Mr Davies stressed.
“Large retailers continue to use milk as a ‘loss leader’ and this has led to farm-gate prices which are less than the cost of production. Farmers are in an intolerable position. There isn’t enough profit for livelihood, let alone for investment.
“We are going back to a downward spiral of farm-gate milk prices and the industry needs to look at the issue of milk contracts more seriously.
“Why should our dairy farmers have to carry the burden of falling milk prices again and again? These companies are playing Russian roulette with our dairy industry and if this carries on there won’t be a dairy industry for much longer.
“Dairy producers are being put into an impossible situation. It is about time that the Government intervenes as a matter of urgency to ensure that we have a dairy industry in the future,” added Mr Davies.
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