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Whatever you may think of protests, they do seem to be getting results as FFA warrior David Handley eases himself into more of those company boardrooms.
Last month there were a few extra pennies from the retailers for liquid milk and this month Tesco and Morrisons have found a bit extra for cheese. Although there was some controversy as to who should receive the Tesco supplement, it now looks as if First Milk has decided to distribute it to Haverfordwest suppliers only.
On top of the UK’s action we have seen unprecedented scenes in Europe with up to 6000 farmers demonstrating in Brussels. In response, the EU conjured up a £300m emergency fund, with about £25m heading to the UK.
Just how much will come dairy’s way is anyone’s guess right now. Estimates say it could amount to around 0.17ppl, but remember don’t feel too much guilt about it as it isn’t really new money – it actually originates from super levy fines.
Despite this, desperation is increasingly setting in as can be seen from the latest RABDF survey. Half of all milk producers can see themselves quitting the industry if the situation doesn’t improve soon, it says.
So are there any signs things are getting better? Well, the crucial Global Dairy Trade auction, which determines sentiment, has increased again this week, by a whopping 16.5%.
Okay, it is from a desperately low base, but it is a sign of positive progress and hopefully heralds the long awaited turnaround.
But let’s not get ahead of ourselves, as the GDT SMP is only delivering a price of 13ppl. So there’s still a long way to go!
Peter Hollinshead, Dairy Farmer editor