A REPORT BY Dairy Farmers of Britain claims that about 60% of dairy farmers in the UK are not making a profit, reports the Daily Telegraph.

On Mon (Jan 31) the co-operative, which has 3250 members, reported a 22% rise in sales for the six months to Sept 2004 to £265m.

According to chief executive, Malcolm Smith, the rise in sales is largely due to the purchase of Associated Co-operative Creameries in Aug 2003.

The paper reports that the acquisition gave Dairy Farmers of Britain an additional three creameries and four dairies. 

“We are now the third largest dairy processor in the country,” said Mr Smith.

Pre-tax profits for the co-operative rose 47% to £10.3m in the first half.

The rise in profits is largely due to the purchase of ACC and in increase in profitability of the Nene Valley Foods and Lubborn businesses, both owned by the co-op.

The co-op added that with so many producers failing to make a profit they feel there is justification for a rise in milk prices “and we are working hard to achieve it,” said a spokesman.