The Farmers’ Union of Wales today renewed its call for processors and supermarkets to stand by the dairy industry following a further spate of farmgate milk price cuts.
The union’s milk and dairy produce committee chairman Eifion Huws expressed his bitter disappointment, stating that for some farmers the big reductions in price could be the last straw.
"During the last month we have seen processor after processor announcing price cuts and today’s announcement by the Dairy Farmers of Britain (DFB) co-operative that they are cutting 2.2ppl off their milk price from April 1 will shatter confidence for many producers.
"Farmers are at the end of their tether and it is therefore vitally important that processors and supermarkets stand by the industry at this difficult time."
A new DairyCo report disclosed worrying statistics with 14% of dairy farmers stating they intend to leave the industry within the next two years and only 18% stating they have the confidence to expand their businesses.
"The gap between farmgate prices and the price consumers pay at the supermarket is ever growing and this is undermining farmers’ confidence in the industry," added Mr Huws.
"UK milk production is at its lowest level for 34 years and therefore processors and supermarkets alike must pay a fair price to farmers in order to avoid a further fall in milk production.
"I believe that in the absence of an ombudsman it is imperative that the government meets with supermarkets and large retailers to ensure that farmers receive a fair price for their produce in order to bring stability back to the industry.
"As the DairyCo report indicates there is a need for all parts of the dairy supply chain to recognise the vulnerability of the supply base and work together to build farmer confidence."