THE CHIEF executive of Dairy Farmers of Britain has slammed milk buyers that have cut prices.
Malcolm Smith confirmed that his co-op‘s price would remain the same for December despite unnecessary downward pressure being exerted by the marketplace.
“The current moves by some companies to reduce prices are complete madness. Cumulative milk supply is the lowest it has been for four years,” he said.
Cheese and commodity prices were also stable, he added.
“With low supply and strong demand, basic economics dictate that prices should be increasing not decreasing. Yet some milk buyers continue to drive prices down.
“It is simply not sustainable to reduce farmers‘ milk prices further because of so-called competitive pressure,” he said.
“If the price is forced down because of this uneconomic action then British dairy farmers will vote with their feet.”
Companies that have announced price cuts recently include Robert Wiseman Dairies, which will reduce payments by 0.5p/litre in December.
Welsh Mozzarella maker Dansco expects to pull down its price by 0.45p/litre from January.
Arla Foods brought its price down by 0.4p/litre in September and co-op Milk Link hit its members with a 0.5p/litre decrease in October. Dairy Crest reduced its November liquid contracts by 0.25p/litre.
Farmers‘ Union of Wales president Gareth Vaughan has reiterated his call for a supermarket watchdog with ‘real teeth‘.
He said that under the current voluntary Supermarket Code of Practice people were scared of complaining.
“The new position should be somebody like a food trade inspector within the OFT. That would lessen the fear of sanctions from the big-four retailers when complaints are made.”