Farmers seek reversal of spring milk price cuts

The dairy coalition is intensifying its efforts to regain the money lost in the spring milk price cuts.

Major milk processing companies, including Robert Wiseman Dairies, Dairy Crest and Arla Foods, cut the prices they paid farmers for their milk in spring by about 2p/litre.

The same companies called off the 1 August price reductions of 1.65 to 2p/litre, which would have seen many farmers paid less for milk than it costs to produce.

But so far, none of the major milk firms have announced plans to reinstate milk prices to the levels last paid on 1 May.

Leaders from Farmers for Action (FFA), the NFU and other farming organisations were due to meet with representatives from major milk processing companies this week to lobby for a reversal of the spring milk price cuts.

FFA vice-chairman Andrew Hemming said: “We sent out a message to all producers on Sunday night (12 August) that we shall be asking questions regarding the spring milk price cuts.

“Our initial target was to get the 2p/litre 1 August milk price cuts reversed, which we succeeded in doing, and now our main focus is on getting the milk price cuts from May reversed.

“Our questions to all the major producers are: where is the money? Are we going to get it back? If not, we cannot rule out further action.”

While discussions are ongoing with the main milk processors, the dairy coalition has extended its deadline for the spring milk price cuts to be reversed to 1 September, Mr Hemming said.

“They (milk processors) have got 18 days left to reverse the spring milk price cuts,” he added. “That will be the focus of our attention over the next 10 days.”

Processors and retailers have blamed cuts in the milk price on a collapse in the value of cream.

Meanwhile, NFU dairy board chairman Mansel Raymond was due to meet representatives of the Irish Dairy Board this afternoon (Monday 13 August) as the spotlight of the #SOSdairy campaign moves to milk and cheese.

See our page on the milk crisis

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