England

Müller Wiseman gives farmers milk price rise

  • 18 September 2013
  • From the section England

Müller Wiseman Dairies is to increase the price it pays its farmers for milk.

The firm, based in Market Drayton, Shropshire, with plants in Droitwich, Worcestershire, and Bridgwater, Somerset, said the change would come into effect from 21 October.

Müller Wiseman said dairy farmers would get 32.5p per litre, an increase of 1p per litre, which is equivalent to £13,000 a year on average sales.

Campaign group Farmers For Action said the price rise was "long overdue".

Dozens of farmers have blockaded Müller Wiseman processing plants over the price of milk in recent months, the most recent protest being in Shropshire last week.

Müller Wiseman said the blockades had not influenced the decision to increase the price.

'Tip of the iceberg'

A spokesperson said it was a market-based price "in order to keep up with competitors" and the price was constantly under review.

David Handley, chair of Farmers For Action, said: "We welcome the increase as it is long awaited and long overdue.

"But there is a lot more work to be done, this only touches the tip of the iceberg and we will need more by the end of the year.

"It's not about consumers paying more but we know what is in the supply chain currently and the industry needs to become more transparent."

He added it was now up to other dairy processors to increase the price they pay their farmers and Muller had been the first firm to "crack".

National Farmers Union chief dairy adviser Rob Newbery said the rise will be "welcome relief" for farmers supplying Muller Wiseman.

He added: "Weather conditions, meaning high feed bills during last winter have left a heavy burden of cost in farmers businesses.

"It is important that the market is allowed to function freely and that increased dairy market returns are passed to farmers to invest."

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