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Cornish Farmers Condemn Milk Price Cuts

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7:00am 7th July 2012

Cornish farmers are lobbying the government as one of the south-west's biggest dairies drops its prices.

From next month, Robert Wiseman will pay almost two pence a litre less for milk. It is blaming a collapse in the value of cream.

Mark Oliver farms at Lanhydrock near Bodmin and also sits on the regional dairy board. He said, It's become difficult because costs are rising all the time. Now, the likes of Robert Wiseman are paying significantly under the cost of production, so it's making it tough for a lot of dairy farmers.

"Putting extra downward pressure on prices at the moment is really bad news and very unnecessary.

"Farmers are basically told what their milk prices will be, sometimes retrospectively if and when they've produced the milk, and that's not right. We need to have some say in what we're going to get for our milk".

Pete Nicholson, Milk Procurement Director at Robert Wiseman Dairies, said, "We know that this news will come as a major disappointment to Wiseman Milk Group members.

"We have done everything we can to minimise the reduction in our farm gate milk price but we must now reflect the substantially lower returns from the markets which we serve".

Acting Chairman of the Wiseman Milk Partnership Roddy Catto said, "Many WMG members are still coming to terms with the 2ppl cut in June and to be faced with a further 1.7ppl cut will be devastating. The Wiseman Partnership Board put forward a very strong and justifiable case to keep the milk price as is. We have been unable to change the company position and as such we certainly do not give this move our approval. We will however continue to work with the Company to build a recovery back to milk prices that reflects a more sustainable position for our members at the earliest opportunity".

7:00am 7th July 2012

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