Dairy Crest (DC) has come under fire over how retail payments are delivered to farmers after it cut November prices for those on Davidstow contracts.
Last week the processor announced it would hold prices for those on standard litre contracts, but those on Davidstow manufacturing contracts would see a 1.5ppl reduction in milk cheques, to be applied from November 1.
Farmers on liquid contracts have also been told to expect to see the first supplementary payments in October. The supplements come from commitments from the retail sector to support the industry. Based on current forecasts, the first supplement for October is estimated at 0.39ppl. The November supplement is estimated at 0.65ppl.
James Bruna, a dairy farmer milking 200 cows in Cornwall, raised questions to Farmers Guardian over the transparency of DC’s supplementary payments to farmers.
"My issue is the retailers are doing their bit, fair credit to them. DC seems to be pocketing it themselves," he said.
"I know they have invested but they seem to be trying to pull some of that back straight away."
Mr Bruna also raised issues about the wider industry, claiming current prices were not sustainable.
"[Our costs] cannot go any lower. If we go any tighter we will end up with unhealthy cows," he said.
A spokesman for Dairy Crest said supplementary payments were only applicable to liquid contracts and added the firm had to be in line with the market.
Muller Wiseman informed farmers this week those on non-aligned contracts would receive 1.6ppl in supplementary payments for September retailer price commitments.
The increased funds will go to about 430 farmers who do not operate on aligned milk contracts, taking their overall September milk cheques to 23.971ppl.