Dairy farmers not seeing the benefit of price rises

Farmers for Action and the Tenant Farmers Association are calling for retailers and processors in the dairy supply chain to ensure that dairy farmers receive a fair share from the recent uplift in milk prices.

Farmers for Action Chairman, David Handley said “Whilst we are seeing a reasonable distribution of returns within the liquid milk market, profits from the higher prices in milk powder and fats chains are not being passed down to farmers who have suffered major losses over the past two years and who desperately need their fair share of the return the market is now delivering. Farmers are told constantly to work within the supply chain and that they must allow it to operate efficiently. We now need to see these words turned into real actions”.

“We are calling for retailers and processors to act without delay to ensure fairer returns to dairy farmers at this time. Milk prices on the spot market have leapt dramatically and look set to improve further. However some processors and retailers are holding back from allowing fairer returns to dairy farmers and that is unacceptable. Unless we see urgent change we will have no option but to take our protests to the doors of those retailers and processors who are most to blame,” said Mr Handley.

TFA National Chairman, Stephen Wyrill said “For some time, the TFA has been arguing that the dairy supply chain suffers from market failure and a greater degree of intervention is required to ensure that it operates efficiently. Some retailers and processors are using their dominant positions within the supply chain to protect their own returns and profitability without ensuring a fair return to primary producers”.

“These issues need a long-term solution which is why the TFA has been calling for reforms to the remit of the Groceries Code Adjudicator both to be able to consider the impact of relationships all the way through retail supply chains rather than just direct contracts between processors and retailers. The Adjudicator should also have a remit to report on the share of the retail price of milk and other grocery items received by each part of the supply chain. This price information would inform contractual negotiations between farmers, processors and retailers,” said Mr Wyrill.

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