Dairy farmers in talks on EU-wide supply boycott

Desperate EU dairy farmers are considering a milk supply boycott to force buyers to improve farmgate prices, according to an independent milk producer group visiting Wales.

Representatives of the European Milk Board, which is made up of producers from 11 countries, said UK problems mirrored what was happening right across the EU.

Sieta van Keimpema, from the Dutch price pressure group NMV, said:

“We have to get a better price or go out of business.

“While politicians and supermarkets ignore our problems we will be forced to turn to the final solution, a boycott on milk sales,” Ms van Keimpema said.

Sonja Korspeter, a spokeswoman for the EMB, said that 6000 milk producers a year were quitting in her native Germany.

Currently they were receiving 18p/litre when they needed 27p/litre to stay viable.

That was the board’s first target price.

“We came to Wales to see the situation here, and discuss how we can work together to secure the future of family farms,” Ms Korspeter told a Farmers Union of Wales press conference at Gelli Aur College near Carmarthen.

Eifion Hughes, chairman of the FUW milk committee, admitted that it would be very difficult to persuade all cash-strapped UK producers to support a milk sales strike.

However, nothing could be ruled out in the future.

Farmers were working for less than the minimum wage and family members were being forced to earn off-farm incomes.

Futures contracts: farmer views wanted

Do you use futures and options markets to help you manage risk? Or are you interested to learn more? Farmers Weekly is keen to find out the extent to which UK farmers use these markets. Complete our survey here.

Take the survey

Futures markets and commodity risk management online course:

  • Risk management strategies for a more predictable financial performance
  • Educated conversations when collaborating with your advisors
  • Negotiate better prices with your grain merchants

View course