AHDB figures have revealed the impact severe milk market disruption has had on English, Welsh and Scottish producers during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Looking at producers suffering reductions in farmgate prices, more than half of producers in England (3,470) and Wales (840) were impacted, compared to 29 per cent (255) in Scotland.
In terms of reducing milk outputs, Welsh producers were most affected, with 45 per cent (665) curbing production, compared to 20 per cent (1,260) in England and 26 per cent (235) in Scotland.
While the situation is not as severe for milk producers in Scotland, Graham’s The Family Dairy has served notice on six of its producers to help address its risk profile and rebalance future supply and demand.
Robert Graham, managing director of the company, said: “There has been a lot of dramatic change across the dairy industry and our business has felt these effects.
“As a result, we are having to restructure our business to bring us better into balance where milk supply matches demand.
“In view of these considerations, we have had to end contracts with six of our 100 farmers across Scotland.
“We have provided each one with a 12-months’ notice period as from May 1, 2020, with the option to discuss an earlier exit date when they find another milk purchaser during this period, if required.”
To help promote dairy produce to Scottish consumers, Graham’s has joined forces with Dairy UK in partnership with Government, AHDB and Defra in a joint-funded £1 million 12-week marketing campaign.
Titled ‘Milk Your Moments’, the campaign encourages the public to share their special moments of personal connection through their love of milk and great tasting dairy products during the pandemic.
Robert Graham Snr, chairman, Graham’s Dairy, said: “It is at this time we realise and appreciate all the things we may have previously taken for granted, whether that is the presumption that we will always see milk on our supermarket shelves, or most significantly, the importance of our relationships, friends and family.
“When we are unable to see and have close contact with those we love and care for, it is ever more poignant. That is why I believe everyone will be able to relate to this new consumer campaign, as it is about connecting people through their love and enjoyment of great tasting milk and dairy products.”