Wiseman price increase "a small step in the right direction"

A 0.5 p per litre price increase announced by Robert Wiseman Dairies today as a move in the right direction needs to be followed by other players in the milk game.

NFU Scotland says whilst the new farmgate price of 26.2 ppl is an improvement, there is little cause for celebration given that it is still below the cost of production which is closer to 29ppl.

And while Wiseman has highlighted a 40% increase in the farmgate price paid to its suppliers in the last full year, NFUS points out that the cost to a dairy farmer of producing that milk has increased by at least the same amount over the same period of time and is still increasing.

"A small number of companies, Wiseman included, have been working hard with their customers to highlight the impact that rising costs are having on their business and the businesses of those who supply them with milk," said NFUS milk committee chairman Willie Lamont.

"Others now need to step up to the plate. It is recognised that an upward move in the prices paid to its dairy farmers is required to instil confidence.

"Robert Wiseman Dairies is the first major milk processor to have announced such an increase and we need others to follow suit quickly."

Mr Lamont says against a background of increasing global and home consumption of milk and dairy products, the outlook is bright for the dairy sector.

"However there are massive short term cost pressures for farmers who are facing rocketing fuel, feed and fertiliser costs and extremely high prices for replacement cows," he says.

"These costs need to be recognised now and the Wiseman move is a small step in that direction."