Outrage as more milk price cuts expected

Milk price misery for dairy farmers is about to get worse amid reports that a number of major producers will announce further cuts this week.

Farming lobby group Farmers For Action claimed that major dairy processor Muller Wiseman was expected to announce a 1.9p/litre reduction.

The additional price cut would heap further misery on hundreds of farmers who supply Muller, who were still reeling from a 1.8p/litre price cut the company announced in August.

The FFA said in a statement released on Sunday (28 September): “As predicted, the cuts keep coming, getting more severe each time with more and more excuses –95% of them not even justified. But if farmers keep accepting them, then who can blame the buyers for taking the money?”

The statement added: “The biggest cut so far, not yet made public is Muller Wiseman with a massive 1.9p/litre due to appear to its producers.”

See also: Five charts that explain the milk price crash

The FFA claimed Muller bosses had alerted police forces across the country that their depots may be subject to demonstrations from dairy farmers in the coming days.

A spokesman for Muller Wiseman Dairies said: “We do not comment on speculation.
“Our obligation is to the farmers who supply us. If there are any comments to be made then they will be the first to hear.”

FFA said further cuts would follow this week from other major processors.

UK cheesemaker Wyke Farms has already announced a milk price drop of 1.5p/litre, reducing its standard litre price from 1 November to 27.05p/litre.

New entrant dairy farmer Jon Stanley, who milks 150 Jersey pedigrees in Dorset, said he was informed of the cuts this weekend. “Rubbish post in the morning!” he wrote on his Twitter account (@JonStanley10).

FFA warned on Friday (26 September) that typical milk prices could drop as low as 23-24p/litre at a time when the costs of production exceeded 31p/litre .

Processors have blamed a global slump in dairy commodity prices due to large volumes of milk on the market as their reason for slashing milk prices.

But FFA said processors and farming unions encouraged farmers to increase milk production earlier this year, when prices were 33-34p/litre, adding to the current oversupply of milk and subsequent price crash.

In any case, the organisation said more than 80% of the milk UK dairy farmers produce is used in this country, so they should be immune from global dairy price cuts.

Meanwhile, FFA has signalled its intention to launch a new wave of dairy protests by urging farmers to “leave a free date in their calendars for the next 10 days”.

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