Deal reached in dairy dispute

As SLR went to press a draft deal had been reached between dairy farmers, milk producers and retailers following a dispute over milk prices. The agreement involves the introduction of a voluntary code of practice which will give farmers more bargaining power. The dispute began when major dairy firms cut the price they pay to farmers for a litre of milk. The collapse in the value of cream was cited, but farmers reacted angrily, claiming they could go out of business.

In an effort to offset the cuts a number of retailer groups, including the Co-op said they would increase the premium they paid for milk.

Robert Wiseman Dairies has confirmed it will now not change its milk price. In a statement the company said: “We welcome whole industry recognition of the difficulties facing farmers and the acknowledgement that fresh milk processors, even those that are as efficient and well invested as Wiseman, are under severe financial pressure. We have confidence that we can work with our customers and farmers to address the obvious challenges that exist.”

Wisemans had planned to change the price it paid to farmers on 1st August, along with other producers, First Milk, Arla Foods UK and Dairy Crest – all of whom have now shelved the planned cuts.

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