TFA hits out at dairy companies
DAIRY companies have been condemned by the Tenant Farmers Association for attempting to destabilise the raw milk market.
The TFA urged all members to stand firm and back Milk Marques efforts against the Dairy Industry Federation to ensure a reasonable farm gate price.
Speaking at a recent London meeting convened by the TFA to discuss the crisis in agriculture, Jerry Rider, the associations milk committee chairman, said many members were facing a big drop in income, while dairy companies continued to post good profits.
The retail price of milk had risen between Apr 1997 and Apr 1998 by 0.1p/pt to 23.7p, while producer prices fell 2.2p to 10.3p/pt.
"In quite a few cases these reductions will place members in loss-making situations. They are justifiably frustrated by the activities of the dairy companies and we hope the Monopolies and Mergers Commission will take full account of this as part of their investigation into the supply of raw milk in Great Britain."
The TFA also criticised the apparent reluctance of the dairy companies to invest in capital equipment for milk processing. "It is important that farmer-oriented UK co-ops should be allowed to invest in processing capacity," said Mr Rider. *