Dairy farmers facing falling farmgate milk prices should not protest because it won’t make a difference, the NFU has warned.

Speaking at the Dairy Day event in Telford, Shropshire, NFU dairy board chairman Rob Harrison said: “Protesting is a blunt, crude tool to signify you are being treated unfairly.

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“We haven’t seen any evidence to suggest the UK dairy market is dysfunctional [compared with the global milk market] in terms of milk price.”

“[Protesting] won’t bring buyers to the milk place or increase prices. It only really works if you need [direct] action.”

“We are in a very different place to where we were in 2012. We had a milk price that was near the bottom of the European league table and it wasn’t covering cost of production.”
Rob Newbery, NFU chief dairy adviser

NFU chief dairy adviser Rob Newbery added milk price cuts were a result of global falls in commodity prices that could not be solved with direct action.

He said: “We are in a very different place to where we were in 2012. We had a milk price that was near the bottom of the European league table and it wasn’t covering cost of production.”

He explained global commodity prices had driven the price of milk up to 34p/litre earlier this year and global commodity prices were also responsible for forcing it back down to 25/26p/litre more recently.

“We are suffering the affects of volatility. It is difficult but it is not dysfunctional.”

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