The Dairy Coalition has told dairy buyers, processors, retailers and the food service sector they must commit to British farmers to deliver better market returns in the future and secure a sustainable supply of milk.
The coalition, the NFU, NFU Cymru, NFU Scotland, FFA, TFA, WFU and the RABDF met to discuss dairy market issues and its future strategy.
In the short term, the coalition has called for urgent and meaningful farm gate price rises for 1 April, to ensure a realistic market price. Challenges of poor weather, infertility and feed shortages mean that farmers can only respond to demand for more milk if they are paid a proper price.
NFU dairy board chairman, Mansel Raymond said: “Yesterday’s Fonterraauction result saw significant price rises in key commodities such as cheese, butter and milk powders, with all products up 14.8 per cent on the previous month. This clearly demonstrates that globally, demand is strong and supplies are tight.
“Yet we’re still hearing that crippling deals being done in the domestic cheese and liquid markets are putting milk prices under pressure. The average UK farm gate milk price for January was exactly 30ppl, this masks the range of prices being paid from less than 27ppl to over 33ppl, which is barely a penny ahead of this time last year. For UK dairy production to have a sustainable future, the only way these prices can possibly go is up.”
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