South Lakes MP’s concern over new cuts to milk prices
Last updated at 14:23, Friday, 06 July 2012
SOUTH Cumbria farmers could lose thousands of pounds a year following another cut in the price they are paid for milk, it is feared.
When planned cuts go ahead, some farmers could be paid about 24p a litre.
It costs more than 30p a litre to produce milk, according to the National Farmers’ Union.
South Lakes MP Tim Farron said the latest cut was the second in as many months.
Speaking in Environment Questions in parliament, he urged Farming Minister Jim Paice to take action and urgently call together dairy processors and buyers.
The Lib Dem MP said: “Not only is what they are doing morally wrong, but also destructive to the industry as low milk prices has led to a 50 per cent drop in the number of dairy holdings across the UK between 1995 and 2010.”
In May four major dairy processors: Dairy Crest, Robert Wiseman, Arla and Muller, announced a cut of 2p per litre (ppl) in the price paid to dairy farmers for milk, which on its own could cost some dairy farmers up to £20,000 per year. However, this has been followed by a further cut of 1.7ppl by Robert Wiseman, 2ppl by Arla and 1.65ppl by Dairy Crest, which will take effect from August 1.
Mr Farron said: “This most recent cut in prices by three of the major dairy processors is completely outrageous.
“Farmers across Cumbria are struggling as it is and this drop will now see many of them losing out to the tune of up to 6ppl, which will cost their businesses dearly.
“It is great to see this government introducing a Grocery Codes Adjudicator to protect food producers in the long term; however we need decisive action to be taken in the short term to help dairy farmers.
“I want to see this government showing leadership and negotiating with the dairy processors to ensure they recognise the long term negative impact this price cut could have on the dairy industry.”
Farmers have contacted Mr Farron and some fear the additional price cut could cost their business up to £53,000 each year.
First published at 13:32, Friday, 06 July 2012
Published by http://www.nwemail.co.uk
Have your say
Maybe they will have to cut costs like the rest of us, perhaps by driving around in Suzukis instead of RangeRovers. Or maybe they can make up the shortfall with the subsidies from their wind turbines.We were told recently that the average dairy farmer was making Â£47000 a year. How can they be losing more than this?