25 June 1998
Milk Marque selling talks postponed

MILK MARQUE said it would unilaterally change the arrangements for the selling round after talks between it and the Dairy Industry Federation (DIF) had been postponed.

The DIF responded by saying the talks had not been about changes in the rules.

The Monopolies and Mergers Commission is investigating the supply of milk in the UK. Currently prices are set through semi-annual auctions of milk conducted by Milk Marque.

The last auction led to a fall in the price of raw milk to a level which Milk Marque claimed was unsustainable and below the cost of production.

It wants to change the rules to achieve a higher selling price for dairy farmers, whose incomes have fallen sharply. But the processors have benefited from lower raw material prices.

Paul Beswick, managing director of Milk Marque, said: “Unfortunately it has not been possible to reach agreement with the DIF on change to the selling arrangements for July 1998 and time has now run out”.