Farm leader Mansel Raymond has urged the EU to raise the milk “intervention price” to help struggling dairy farmers.
For milk, the current intervention price is about 21 cents (15p/litre), but Mr Raymond said this figure was too low and out of touch with current production costs.
Speaking at a press briefing on Tuesday (1 June) by European farming union Copa-Cogeca, in Riga, Latvia, Mr Raymond said the EU intervention price needed updated urgently.
Copa-Cogeca Milk Working Party chairman and Welsh farmer Mr Raymond said 30% of UK producers were being paid 30p/litre or more for their milk, but he was receiving 5p/litre less and below the cost of production.
“Cashflow is a massive pressure and the intervention to that price is 21 cents. It has been at this level since 2008. We’ve had discussions with the EU but they are determined not to increase this price level,” he added.
“It’s something we cannot accept. The intervention price needs to be assessed. The supply chain needs to be looked at. It’s the milk producers that take the hit every time.”
Mr Raymond said the EU Commission should use this year’s milk superlevy quota and invest it back into the dairy industry.
“Superlevy monies collected from member states will be close to €700m (£504m). That’s a lot of money,” he added.
“But the commission has stated that €440m [£316m] of that total has been earmarked for the coming year for the budget. That still leaves a figure of €250m-€300m [£180m-£216m].
“We believe that money would be wisely invested back in dairy farmers. Or, the commission should use that money to look for investment opportunities for milk from European markets.”