12 October 1999
Mixed reaction in milk ads vote
By Johann Tasker
THE idea of charging farmers about £130 a year to fund a national advertising campaign for milk is eliciting a mixed response from dairy producers.
Farmers have until the end of this week to decide whether they want to pay 0.03ppl of milk towards an advertising campaign aimed at boosting milk sales.
Polling papers sent to dairy producers last month by the Ministry of Agriculture must be returned by this Friday (15 October).
But with fewer than five days to go, the interim results of a Farmers Weekly survey indicate that the MAFF poll could still go either way.
Edward Black e-mailed FWi to say that funding a milk advertising campaign would be “a small price to pay in an attempt to secure a more profitable market”.
Richard Haslam, from Chesterfield, Derbyshire, said retail milk sales had to increase by only 5% to improve the market and boost the price paid to farmers.
“My only fear is I hope the money is spent on good-quality advertising.”
But some respondents were sceptical that any extra sales from an advertising campaign would filter back to producers in the form of higher milk prices.
|David Kenniford, from Pembrokeshire, said he was in favour of milk advertising so long as dairy processors helped farmers fund the campaign.
“The trade contribution should be the same or I am not willing to pay.”
Other producers said they would be voting against funding a milk advertising campaign, no matter how much or how little they were asked to contribute.
Farmers will find it difficult to produce cheaper milk so long as the quota system restricts production, wrote Martin Harvey, from Newlyn East, Cornwall.
“The dairy industry is in far better financial shape to fund any advertising campaign and they will be the first to benefit from increased sales,” he said.
Antony Bourne, from Cheshire, replied on behalf of his brother: “Farmers are having a bad enough time at the moment without taking more money from them.”
The final results of the Farmers Weekly survey will be published in the magazine and on the FWi website on Friday (15 October).