FARMING MATTERS: Milk prices are not fair to farmers

A dairy farmer milking his herd. Photo Louise AdamsA dairy farmer milking his herd. Photo Louise Adams
A dairy farmer milking his herd. Photo Louise Adams
Market indicators show dairy farmers are being short changed to the tune of £200 million pounds, says the National Farmers Union (NFU).

And the union is calling for commercial milk buyers to recognise the strength of current markets and start paying fair, sustainable prices to their milk suppliers.

After two years of turmoil in the dairy sector, during which time milk prices for many farmers have been, and continue to be, below the cost of production, commodity markets have now quickly turned.

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Evidence shows market signals are pointing skywards, but NFU dairy board chairman Michael Oakes says commercial milk buyers are lagging behind on passing on the huge lifts in market prices to their suppliers.

He said: “Since May this year market indicators have started to show a massive differential between what prices dairy farmers should have got, compared to what they actually did get. Between June and September this adds up to around £200 million.”

With winter approaching,and with it the increased cost of housing and feeding, Mr Oakes said it was imperative that buyers start backing British dairy farmers and pay fair, sustainable prices, otherwise volumes will not recover.