Talks set to progress milk price campaign

Dairy industry leaders are expected to announce the next steps in the campaign for fairer milk prices at a meeting on Friday 10 August.

The coalition of organisations supporting the dairy industry will publish plans to ensure milk buyers take responsibility for the long-term future of dairy farming after the meeting at NFU headquarters in Stoneleigh, Warwickshire.

Speaking ahead of the talks, NFU president Peter Kendall said: “It remains our aim to deliver a functioning marketplace where dairy farmers can have confidence they will receive a fair and sustainable milk price that at least covers their costs of production.

“The work of the coalition has only really just begun. We are determined to bring about real and lasting change. Just this week, two milk buyers have signalled intentions to deliver long-term pricing models.

“We do not wish to dictate the exact details, but it is critical that milk pricing models deliver sustainable milk prices for farmers.”

Following discussions with coalition representatives, supermarket group Iceland Foods has agreed to investigate the development of an improved milk procurement model that clearly recognises the price paid to farmers by its supplying processors.

“The work of the coalition has only really just begun. We are determined to bring about real and lasting change.”
NFU president Peter Kendall

Dairy processor Freshways has also committed to working with industry consultants in developing a milk pricing mechanism which reflects farmers’ costs to produce milk.

Farmers for Action chairman David Handley said: “Both these businesses will be judged on their actions. Iceland has stated it has not derived any benefit from this year’s price cuts by milk processors. We have told Iceland it has an opportunity to show leadership by making a sustainable farmgate milk price a procurement specification.

“Likewise, Freshways will be judged on its ability to pay their supplying farmers a fair price based on a fair contract.

“Milk buyers can’t go on shrugging their shoulders and refusing to take responsibility for the future of the dairy industry. We demand that buyers step up to the mark and do their bit to ensure a fair deal for farmers.”

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