By FWi staff

DAIRY producers in England and Wales sell their milk through too many producer groups resulting in little market impact, says the National Working Party of Milk Groups (NWPMG).

To maintain a realistic balance between buyers and sellers, the NWPMG has called for a reduction in the number of these groups from the current pool of over 40 groups.

“The working party recognises that major rationalisation is called for, and that our job now is to persuade producers to see the sense in our proposals and to move towards the solution,” said NWPMG chairman, Robin Morrow.

Central to the organisations thinking is the degree of fragmentation that currently exists, with consequential lack of marketing clout.

“The whole point of producer representation is to avoid the situation whereby producers become price-takers,” said Mr morrow.

“Optimising the buyer-seller relationship is the best way to stability, and that will not be achieved as things are,” he said.

“We believe that fewer, larger groups, providing appropriate geographical service and cover, should be formed.

“We now intend to embark on a process of discussion and persuasion to drive matters on as quickly as possible.”

This was welcomed by NFU Milk and Dairy Produce chairman Michael Lambert, who said that the NFU advocated the merits of collaborative marketing.

This would give producers strength in the market, he said.