Müller Dairy and Müller-owned Robert Wiseman Dairies will increase their farm gate milk price to 30.5 pence per litre (ppl) by February 2013 in an effort to meet the rising cost of milk production.
Farmers that supply Müller UK and Robert Wiseman Dairies, with the exception of those in the Tesco and Sainsbury’s supply groups, will benefit from a staggered 1.5ppl increase.
The price will increase by 0.5ppl to 29.5ppl from 1 December 2012, then by an additional 1ppl to 30.5ppl from 1 February 2013.
Last month, Muller Wiseman reiterated its commitment to increasing its milk price, but slammed the recent wave of “militancy and illegal blockades” led by the Farmers for Action (FFA) campaign group.
The price increase has been welcomed by the Muller Wiseman Milk Partnership Board, which represents the interests of Müller UK and Robert Wiseman Dairies suppliers.
Commenting on the announcement, Muller Wiseman Milk Partnership Board chairman Roddy Catto urged those behind this year’s militant activity to end their disruptive behaviour in favour of “constructive dialogue.”
Disruptions undermining progress
“We are pleased with the progress being made with the Group and with the outcome of our discussions on this and other projects including the Müller Wisemilk Initiative,” said Catto.
“We would ask those behind recent militant activity to respect the fact that we are the elected representatives of all dairy farmers who supply the Group.”
“Blockades of the kind recent seen in Shropshire risked undermining the progress of these discussions and it is time now to build a relationship that is based not on disruption and ultimatums but on constructive dialogue.”
Müller Dairy UK and Ireland CEO Ronald Kers echoed Catto’s call for an end to the disruptive FFA protests and blockades.
“We are determined to be the leading dairy company in the UK and Ireland and the preferred home for milk produced by Britain’s dairy farmers and we will work closely with the farmer board to this end,” said Kers.
“For this reason we cannot be distracted by localised and unlawful militancy promoted by people many of whom have no connection with the Group whatsoever.”
Higher milk price
“We want to return a higher milk price to farmers so that we can ensure security of supply for our customers in an environment where off farm milk production is dropping,” Kers added.
“The elected Müller Wiseman Milk Partnership farmer board deserves great credit for the manner in which they have approached this issue. They have worked tirelessly with is to arrive at a decision and we share the new that our collaborative work on this and the Müller Wisemilk Initiative augurs well for the future.”