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NFU Disappointed At Milk Price Cut Bombshell For DFB Survivors

03 August 2009
National Farmers Union

UK - First Milk's decision to cut its milk price by 3.4ppl to over 400 producers who switched to the processer after the collapse of Dairy Farmers of Britain has been branded as "a major set back" by the NFU.

News of the massive milk price cut has been blamed on a weak market by First Milk who announced the surprise cut on Thursday. The NFU has said that while it was grateful to First Milk for taking on farmers left after the demise of DFB, this was a devastating blow for those now facing a milk price at well below the cost of production.

NFU dairy board chairman Gwyn Jones said: "Having worked with First Milk, who in June came forward to take on many of the farmers left facing financial ruin after the collapse of Dairy Farmers of Britain, I was extremely grateful. In fairness to First Milk, I think we should wait and see what happens to prices in September and compare their three-month performance against others. There is no doubt that cheap milk bought by others has undermined the market and is prolonging recovery.

"However, this huge cut was unexpected, leaving those same farmers facing a milk price far below their cost of production. This is completely unsustainable. We need to see much better communication and a clear business strategy to all producers, particularly during these very turbulent times. Communication and clarity is key, and this should not be such a difficult task for First Milk; a member-owned co-operative."

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