Robert Wiseman Dairies’ decision to scrap the planned milk prices cuts of 1 August of 1.7p/litre will be held for the “foreseeable future”, say company sources.
A statement released by the company last Friday (27 July) said that Wiseman would “hold its milk price for Wiseman Milk Group members for August”.
The wording of the announcement has created confusion among dairy farmers, who have been questioning whether the statement meant that prices would only be held for the duration of August.
However, a Wiseman source told Farmers Weekly that the commitment to hold the price it pays for group members would be kept beyond August.
“There seems to be a bit of confusion about our latest announcement on milk prices, but our position is quite clear: our milk price is being held from 1 August for the foreseeable future.
“We are holding the milk price from August rather than for August. We are happy for that to be clarified.”
However, the position remains less clear with Dairy Crest, which last week announced a two-month delay to its planned milk price cut of 1.65p/litre to allow the company to find a “long-term solution for the dairy sector”.
Dairy industry expert Ian Potter said the main dairy processors could expect large protests from farmers if they decided to go ahead with their planned 1 August milk price cuts over the coming weeks.
“Dairy farmers will be watching the situation very carefully over the next month,” said Mr Potter, dairy industry analyst #SOSmilk.
“If Wiseman contemplated even a small drop in the milk price, I wouldn’t like to second guess the reaction from farmers – all hell would break loose.
“The following month, farmers will be looking at Dairy Crest which has only committed to holding its milk price for two months.”
See our dedicated page on the milk price crisis