Farmers hit out at latest cut in milk prices

Mid Wales | News | Published:

Farming bosses in Mid Wales have hit out at the latest cut in milk prices, saying it is a "bitter blow" to producers.

NFU Cymru has said farmers are in the "depth of a crisis."

First Milk announced last week that it was cutting its milk price once again from the start of September, slashing 0.2 pence per litre for some farmers and 0.3ppl for others.

Stephen James, NFU Cymru president and a First Milk supplier, said: "We are in the depths off a crisis and the announcement for the September milk price will be hugely disappointing to dairy farmers.

"Let's be absolutely clear that the current farm gate milk price is at an unsustainable level.

"I met with First Milk to stress to senior management these concerns and seek assurances on their business model and strategy going forward.

"We know that the markets in which First Milk are trading – commodity cheese, milk brokering and milk powder – are extremely difficult, but its members need to see some improvement in the near future."

He added: "After meeting with the senior management I am reassured that the new team have stabilised the finances and that the new chief executive, Mike Gallagher, has a clear strategy and plan with a clear deadline to improve First Milk's comparative milk prices, over and above any market price impact.

"The start of this is assurance that the capital investment requirement is reverting back to 0.5ppl from 2ppl and this will be seen in the September milk cheque."

Farmers are this week involved in a series of meetings with supermarket officials to get a better deal for their milk.

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