Commit now to price increases say union

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With several milk processors across the UK committing to an increase in the price they pay to producers, including one which has committed to an increase to 30 pence per litre (ppl), NFU Scotland is calling for others to follow suit north of the border.

Autumn 2014 was the last time the milk price rose to 30ppl in Scotland for non-aligned dairy farmers, but this looks set to change.

One company, English-based Barbers, the family cheese company, has committed to increasing its milk price over the coming months to above 30ppl by February 2017. This is a welcome lift in prices, as Barbers’ initiative commits to future prices based on a confidence in the company itself as well as the predicted strength in the market. Yew Tree, which processes Scottish milk, is offering fixed term price options, which will allow farmers to plan with some certainty.

NFU Scotland welcomes these initiatives, and is calling for more commitment from those milk processors in Scotland, or who buy Scottish milk, who are failing to react to the rising market or the drastic need to increase farmers milk cheques. The Union has consistently pressed all processors to react quickly to the market which has risen dramatically for the last nine months.

Graeme Kilpatrick, Milk Committee Chairman commented: “Farmers have suffered serious losses and inevitably milk production is in serious decline, which will not be reversed quickly.

“Objective and informed market analysts are now confident that the value in dairy products will continue to rise, well into 2017, with future prices indicating that the return to farmers should be 28 to 30 ppl, maybe more. There is no excuse for the supply chain to continue to delay price increases to producers.”