8 January 2001
Union: No excuse for low milk price

By FWi staff

PROCESSORS and retailers have no excuse for continuing to pay farmers low prices for their milk, according to a new survey.

The National Farmers Union British Milk – What Price? II report claims that evidence supporting an immediate rise in milk prices is indisputable.

NFU vice president Tim Bennett, a Carmarthen dairy farmer, said: “Since our first detailed look at the market in September trading conditions have remained buoyant.

“All indicators point to a continued upturn in the market for milk. But there is an overdue and unwarranted time lag in the reflection of these price rises to producers.

“It is vital processors and retailers respond quickly to the market to pass on desperately needed price rises to farmers.”

The market report highlights strong world markets for commodity products and improvements in UK competitiveness as the Euro strengthens against the Pound.

It also draws attention to the continuing exodus of farmers from the dairy industry and reflects on the significance of the present shortfall in milk production.

Milk prices went up after the publication of the September British Milk – What Price? which detailed the need for an increase in the farmgate price.

The NFU said the increase came as a result of its lobbying, but this was disputed by more militant producers in the Farmers For Action movement.

They said their campaign of direct action – which included spilling tankers of milk on to fields and blockading dairies – had secured the increase.