Increased price pressures in dairy industry are putting livelihoods at risk, warns union
Increased price pressures in the dairy industry are putting livelihoods at risk, the Welsh National Farmers’ Union has warned.
It follows a dairy from the north Wales/Shropshire border going into administration which has had a knock-on effect on many farmers in the area.
Speaking at the annual Welsh Dairy Show NFU Cymru Milk Board Chairman Gareth Richards told farmers and visitors that increased price pressures are putting the long term prosperity of the sector at severe risk.
His concerns come just weeks after north Wales processor Tomlinson’s Dairies Limited entered administration, affecting over 70 dairy farmers, many of whom are from Wales.
Such is the level of anxiety across the sector that NFU Cymru, along with other organisations across the UK, are called for an urgent government investigation into the liquid milk market.
He said: “A number of discounters and major retailers continue to sell milk at low prices; just last week we saw retailers offering two litres of semi-skimmed or whole milk for £1, with some wholesalers reducing the price even further below £1.
“Meanwhile the farmgate milk price paid by most major processors in the liquid milk sector is in the region of 24/25 pence per litre, a price putting pressure on many farmers who have struggled to recover from the 2016 downturn which saw farmgate prices drop below 20 pence per litre.
“There are a number of retailers who are paying a fair farmgate price for liquid milk, often based on a cost of production formula, and therefore farmgate price for these producers are not impacted by retail promotions.
“Regrettably market intelligence indicates that only around seven per cent of UK milk is sold this way.”