Members of the National Farmers Union in the UK this week demonstrated outside Dairy Crest cheese manufacturing and distribution sites to call for a 2p per litre rise in the price producers receive.
Since March this year the NFU, along with other farming organisations, has called for a rise in the price of milk paid to producers. Many farmers are not even covering the 20p per litre production cost, said the NFU.
According to the union, the cheese market has been identified as key to farmers' receiving price increases. "However, there appears to be resistance from Dairy Crest to price rises that reflect the change in market conditions," the NFU added.
NFU dairy chairman Terrig Morgan commented: "It is a last resort to mobilise members outside processing plants. It is firmly within the powers of Dairy Crest to give farmers a 2p per litre increase. All the market conditions, including a weakening in the strength of sterling, point to a rise."
In July this year the milk chairman voiced his belief that the whole milk supply chain must demand price increases from its customers if farmers are to receive an increase in farm gate prices.
"The desperately needed increase to farmers will only happen if the whole dairy supply chain - farmers, co-operatives and processors - all demand an increase," he said.