The gap between production costs and the price farmers receive for their milk has left producers £270m out of pocket, according to an NFU survey.
Hundreds of milk producers have so far taken part in the NFU’s invoicing campaign which has been designed to highlight the growing threat to the UK milk supply as a consequence of the poor price they receive for their milk.
Each farmer completed an invoice showing the gap between the price they receive for their milk set against production costs –not taking into account rising costs of borrowing or growing regulatory burdens.
The campaign will culminate in a national launch along side the concrete cows in Milton Keynes on Monday (18 December).
NFU dairy board chairman Gwyn Jones said: “We chose this venue to publicise the amount owed to dairy farmers because unless something is done to reverse the downward price trend in the supply chain then these concrete cows may soon be the only ones left to see in the countryside.
“The campaign has revealed what we have known all along – that milk producers are being short-changed to the tune of £270m per year.
“We want the recent suggestion made by John Lewis chairman Sir Stuart Hampson – that the UK may soon be importing milk – to be a wake-up call to the industry. We need a fair share of the profits made by supermarkets and processors passed back to farmers.
“There is hope – markets are strengthening, consumer demand is increasing and more than ever people are questioning the ethics of food sourcing by retail chains. But the message is clear – we need to value our milk producers or face losing them forever.”