Arla price cuts highlight need for urgent solutions - NFU

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The dairy industry has been hit with another devastating blow, this time from the biggest co-operative in the UK, Arla. The company has today announced a cut to the price it pays its UK members by 1.18ppl taking it to 23.81ppl.

NFU dairy board chairman Rob Harrison said: “This is yet another body blow to dairy farmers whose businesses have been in utter turmoil for the past 12 months, with 450 quitting dairy farming since this time last year in England and Wales. The recent series of cuts have highlighted the need for short-term solutions to address the problems happening now – farmers need urgent help from industry and Government.

“We need Government to move away from paying lip service and focus on the here and now. Their long-term solutions must take a back seat while we focus on the immediate crisis; we need them to insist on best practice in the supply chain, look at growing dairy consumption and supporting more investment in dairy processing in the UK – and this needs to happen now.

“We also urgently need milk-buyers to be more transparent in pricing. Although there are a few clear formulas employed by milk processors, these are few and far between. We need all processors to improve transparency in pricing and must stop idly following one another to the bottom; this is a dire situation and we need to see the dairy industry pull through this period of volatility. Government has a role here in insisting processors provide up-to-date market and production data so that the whole supply chain can better understand what’s happening and how to manage risk in the future.”