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Dairy Farmers Forecast to Lose £17 Million in January

19 December 2008

NORTHERN IRELAND - The Ulster Farmers’ Union says dairy farmers will lose an estimated £17 million in January.

UFU Dairy Chairman William Cromie said the extent of losses facing dairy farmers needed to be highlighted to show the extent of the crisis facing producers this winter.

William Cromie said, "Dairy farms in Northern Ireland will produce approximately 150 million litres of milk in January. Based on this weeks milk auction results and the downturn in the industry, dairy farmers will make a loss of £17 million on January milk. This is a completely unsustainable proposition for producers who are heavily borrowed, but are facing into a winter where they will be losing money on every litre of milk produced. There is now a genuine threat that dairy farms will not survive this economic loss. If the dairy sector starts to down size, this will have a major negative effect on the wider economy."

William Cromie added, "Dairy processors are now buying milk at bargain basement prices. In contrast, producers are now in a deepening financial crisis. No one can expect farmers to produce milk month after month while losing money on every litre that leaves the farm gate. I want to emphasise the urgency and the seriousness of this situation to our political leaders."

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