With the dairy industry coming together at the Welsh dairy Show, NFU Cymru have stated that dairy farmers face a ‘perfect storm’ due to a fall in milk prices, an increase in costs and uncertainty regarding the future of financial support from the Welsh Government.
According to NFU Cymru market conditions has seen milk prices fall about 30% on average since the start of the year, with the price farmers receive for a litre of milk falling 15p compared to that which they received at Christmas time last year. This has coincided with a significant increase in input prices for the industry such as feed and fertilizer and although those costs have dropped recently, they remain at historically high levels. The result is that many farmers are facing producing milk at a loss.
NFU Cymru also cite uncertainty regarding the future of support schemes for farmers provided by the Welsh Government as a factor of concern. Specifically, they mention that the intention to impose tree planting target on farms in the name of fighting climate change is one that could limit the ability of farmers to produce and force them to choose between joining the Sustainable Farming Scheme and continue to produce milk at current levels. Also mentioned is that the burden of increasingly strict regulations and the shadow of TB on keeping healthy herds are clear worrying factors that shouldn’t be ignored.
NFU Chairman, Aled Jones said:
‘Welsh dairy farmers are facing a perfect storm; the industry seems to run on fuel called ‘hope it gets better’ and the tank is on red. This is not the way to run an industry. It appears that other parts of the supply chain are passing on their losses to the primary producers and once again it is farmers who are the ones unfairly shouldering the risks that come with producing this natural, healthy and sustainable product.’
You can read more about what Aled Jones had to say and the concerns of NFU Cymru regarding the future of the dairy industry by visting NFU Cymru’s website.