19 July 2002

Express announces 1.25p/litre milk cut

EXPRESS Dairies has followed Dairy Crest and Wiseman Dairies by knocking 1.25p/litre off the price it pays to farmers.

But the company said it was still not too late for the decision to be reversed.

Jonathan Ovens, chairman of supplier Express Milk Partnership, said the cut, which puts a standard litre at 16.9p before seasonality, will be backdated until July 7, but will only be reflected in August milk cheques. "I have been assured by Express that if the other companies reverse their cuts it will do the same. There is still hope the reduction may not come into effect."

A spokesman for Wiseman Dairies said it was unlikely that the company would be able to alter its position given market conditions. However, this situation could change if Dairy Crest raised its price, he added.

But David Lattimore, managing director of direct supplies at Dairy Crest, said the firm would not have cut its price unless absolutely necessary and accused other processors of making it a scapegoat.

"I find it amazing that big public companies cant make their own decisions. When we hold our prices it does not stop them dropping theirs." &#42