Arla milk price hold is constructive amid continued market uncertainty

The NFU has said news that 3,000 British farmers who supply European cooperative Arla will benefit from a hold in their milk price is a constructive move amid continued market uncertainty.

NFU President Meurig Raymond said that while many farmers are still a long way off a sustainable milk price, news from Arla that it plans to hold its price for September was welcome news.

“I believe that this price announcement sends out a clear message to the industry. The continued uncertainty of the markets means we need to remain cautious, but this is a constructive move.

“The current plight of dairy farmers has showed us that as an industry we must work together towards long term solutions as well as short term action. This is further demonstrated by initiatives that Arla is working on across the UK and Europe.

“The NFU is pleased that Arla is building upon its foundations of equality and transparency, shown by recent announcements, including the development of their farmer-owned marque. Any initiatives that help farmers to navigate through this unpredictable and difficult period are to be welcomed.

“NFU members will be aware of the recent moves in the price being paid for milk in the UK, but the crisis in dairy is also being felt across Europe. It is therefore good to see that a large Danish retailer, REMA 1000, has now joined other UK retailers in supporting the sector. As Arla is a pan-European cooperative, British farmers will benefit from this move.

NFU dairy board chairman Rob Harrison said: “The positives are few and far between in the dairy sector at the moment as we’ve seen milk prices plummet over the past 15 months. Many UK dairy farmers will be entering yet another month of turmoil after recent price cuts by Meadow Foods and Fayrefield Foods indicated, with more announcements expected this week.

“However this announcement from Arla, alongside recent moves from retailers and Global Dairy Trade improvements, is encouraging. As I know all too well, it’s an extremely tough time for dairy farmers at the moment; transparency and stability are two things we are in desperate need of.”

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