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Farm leaders 'ignore' double dairy crisis

Many non-aligned dairy farmers are facing a two-pronged crisis of low milk prices and rising costs, which is largely being ignored by farming leaders.

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Farm leaders 'ignore' double dairy crisis

Midlands producer Alan Smith, who represents Freshways suppliers, said being paid less than 26 pence a litre was not sustainable.

 

"This is especially the case at a time when feed, straw and forage costs will be high this year because of the terrible weather," he said.

 

Taking aim at the NFU, he added: “Minette Batters should hang her head in shame and consider her position as she has not mentioned the crisis for dairy farmers once in the last year."

 

Mr Smith said the situation for dairy farmers who were not in specific dairy groups had been made even more frustrating because of Arla’s recent announcement to increase its milk price by nearly 1ppl to almost 31ppl for manufacturing milk.


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Uncertainty

 

“There is now talk of evener lower prices because of uncertainty in the global dairy market caused by the coronavirus. If prices dip below 25ppl that could be the last straw for many producers," Mr Smith said.

 

Dairy market commentator Chris Walkland said the gap between highest and lowest paid producers had never been wider and that if Arla was to recruit more suppliers there would be a rush to take up the offer.

 

David Handley, of Farmers for Action, said that it was not a time for farmers to be taking to the streets but for co-ordinated and targeted lobbying of retailers and Government to demonstrate the current situation was unsustainable.

 

Mr Handley said the interest and commitment shown by the Chancellor Rishi Sunak in the dairy industry in the past means he should be a particular focus of lobbying efforts.

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