The NFU has strongly condemned the latest round of milk price cuts after three major dairy processors, who supply fresh liquid milk into the UK marketplace, issued notices for reductions.
"This price slash comes at the expense of the average dairy farmer who is now making a significant loss for every litre they produce," said NFU dairy board chairman Mansel Raymond. "I echo the call made by one major producer group, Dairy Crest Direct, that this now amounts to a combined profit warning for the overwhelming majority of dairy farmers in this country. All producer representatives must now stand together and fight to restore profitability."
In the past seven days, Robert Wiseman Dairies, owned by Müller Dairies, Arla Foods UK, the UK subsidiary of Arla Foods Amba, as well as Dairy Crest, announced cuts to their milk prices paid to farmers as of 1 August of 1.7ppl, 2.0ppl and 1.65ppl respectively, following further significant cuts in recent months.
Chairman of Dairy Crest Direct, David Herdman, said: "This latest 1.65ppl cut to our members, which comes on top of a 2.0ppl cut in May, will deliver a completely unsustainable milk price. In fact, we estimate the deficit between milk price and production cost to be £53,000 a year for our liquid suppliers. It's for this reason that we're issuing a profit warning loss of £35m, for non-aligned DCD producers."
Chairman of the Arla Foods Milk Partnership, Jonathan Ovens, said: "Farmers simply cannot afford to go into the winter making a loss of 5ppl."
Roddy Catto, Wiseman Milk Partnership acting chairman, said: "For the sake of our producers, we have no option but to fight this cut. This scale of loss in untenable."
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