French farm-gate milk prices are set to rise by more than 26% during the second quarter of the year, according to the national milk producers’ federation, the FNPL.

Milk production costs have risen steeply this year, while producer numbers have fallen steadily, too.

Since 2003, nearly 19,000 French farmers have left milk production at a time when prices were declining. Between 2003 and 2006, producer prices fell 10% following reforms to the EU’s Common Agricultural Policy.

The fall in prices led to a 7-8% saving for French retailers, according to the French national statistics agency INSEE.

However, over the same period, retail prices rose by six index points against 2003 levels.

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According to dairy manufacturers’ association president Olivier Picot, consumers can now expect to pay up to 10% more on retail dairy products, provided retailers take a cut in their margins.