SCOTLAND, UK - NFU Scotland has met with dairy co-operative First Milk to discuss plans for turning around the business, which is important for the future of Scottish dairy farmers.
Faced with exposure to falling commodity values, the firm has been forced to cut prices on a number of occasions in recent months.
The majority of Scottish suppliers to First Milk are to see prices cut by a further 0.2p per litre for June while those on the Isle of Bute will see prices cut by 1.2p per litre.
For June, the standard litre price before deductions for Scottish First Milk producers will be 20.3p for mainland Scotland, 20.67p for Campbeltown, 20.67p on Arran and 19.3p on Bute. Bute is hardest hit by these costs and negotiations are ongoing to try and reduce ferry transport costs for milk producers.
The cuts were announced as part of a wholesale business review, revealed by new Chief Executive Mike Gallacher.
Following the meeting, NFU Scotland President Allan Bowie said: “It was clear that as First Milk’s new CEO, Mr Gallacher has a clear grasp of what is required to turn the company around and return a viable milk price back to its members as quickly as possible.
“He has recognised the issues that exist across the whole business and we accept that some of the fundamental problems he has identified will take some time to address."
Mr Gallacher's business plan going forward includes cost reductions across First Milk, including job losses primarily at its Glasgow head office, a change to milk pricing policy and sales refocused on UK contracts.
Mr Bowie continued: “For First Milk members, the current price they are receiving remains wholly unacceptable and unsustainable.
"Come the autumn, when cows are coming inside and costs are increasing, First Milk members must have grounds for confidence and trust that the turnaround plan is progressing.
“Importantly, Mr Gallacher gave reassurances that Scotland and its producers are part of his vision for First Milk.
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