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UK Dairy Sector Suffering From Crippling Price Cuts

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UK Dairy Sector Suffering From Crippling Price Cuts

UK Dairy Sector Suffering From Crippling Price Cuts
January 13
15:54 2015

The number of dairy farmers in England and Wales has halved in just over a decade with 60 farmers giving up producing milk in December alone – a rate which will see fewer than 5,000 dairy farmers left by 2025, according to the NFU (National Farmers Union).

“The recent milk price cuts, from most processors, have had a massive impact with some farmers now facing their lowest milk price since 2007, at around 20p per litre. At the same time, farm costs remain some 36 per cent higher than they were eight years ago and the single largest cost component of a dairy farm, animal feed, is more than 50 per cent higher than 2007 levels,” says NFU President Meurig Raymond. “This combination has left many producers under extreme financial pressure and fearing for the future of their dairy businesses. You only have to look at the number of dairy farmers now leaving the sector.”

He continues: “For the NFU, it is important that we focus most on issues where we can make a difference. We cannot reverse world market trends. But I think there are definite areas where we where we can work to improve the situation for dairy farmers. We will continue our difficult but necessary discussions with all the processors as well as with retailers. What we want is an economically sustainable dairy industry for the future. As farmers face volatile markets, I’m also convinced that the government can do more to help by ensuring its policies are sympathetic to the current situation and will help farmers and farming businesses continue forwards.”

NFU dairy board chairman Rob Harrison says: “Despite the grief many dairy farmers are facing, it’s heartening that the British public is still supporting us. Eighty-six per cent of people tell us they want to buy more British products. We keep hearing on social media how consumers want to help.”

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