Union Urges 'Culture Change' in Dairy Supply Chain Over Milk Prices

UK - The National Farmers Union (NFU) Scotland has said it is seeking to meet with retailers and milk processors on the urgent need for the dramatic upturn in dairy markets to speedily feedback to farmers.
calendar icon 18 August 2016
clock icon 2 minute read

The union said that recent downturns in production had led to a turnaround in wholesale prices for products like cheese, cream and milk powders, after two years in the doldrums. However, it said the response to the market changes from milk buyers and processors has been hugely variable, causing frustration amongst dairy farmers.

NFU Scotland suggested that all involved in the dairy supply chain should use this current upturn as an opportunity to embrace culture change and move away from what it called the "damaging approach of the past, where dairy farmers are left to bear the brunt of extreme volatility in dairy markets".

NFU Scotland Milk Committee Chairman, Graeme Kilpatrick said: “The dramatic and welcome change in dairy markets means we have an urgent need to engage with milk buyers and retailers and ensure that there is no further time lag in the upturn being reflected in farmgate prices.

“That has not been the case in the past and analysis has shown that farmgate prices are quick to fall but slow to recover, even when commodity prices have surged ahead. Sadly, some processors are already repeating the mistakes of years gone by.

“It is in the interests of consumers, retailers, processors and farmers that we use this huge improvement in the market to drive change and confidence. Longer term, the entire supply chain must act collaboratively to ensure a sustainable and more stable future for the UK dairy sector.”

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