“I attended the recent Arla Milk Producers annual meeting,” writes Lancashire dairy farmer David Halhead. “The tremendous turnout and the mood of those present will send out a clear message to directors that their current performance is not good enough.
“One thing that struck me is that the milk pricing structure is ridiculously complicated and seems to baffle, rather than inform. Comparisons between milk buyers is now nearly impossible.
“Another point is the term ‘market-related prices’. In January 1994, the retail price of milk was 42p/litre and the farmer got 21p. By January 2005, the retail price was 50p and the farmer got 18p. Last week the retail price was 53p and the farmer got 17.5p.
“Our prices bear no relation to the retail price of milk, cheese or any other milk-defined product. There is plenty of margin our there, but we are just not getting our share.”

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