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September 13, 2012

UK: Wiseman next to pledge milk price hike

Robert Wiseman Dairies has become the latest UK dairy processor to announce an increase in the price it pays farmers for milk.

By Dean Best

Robert Wiseman Dairies has become the latest UK dairy processor to announce an increase in the price it pays farmers for milk.

Wiseman, owned by German yoghurt giant Muller, is to up the price it pays by 2.57p to 29p per litre on 15 October.

The increase will be paid to all dairy farmers that supply Wiseman except those aligned with Tesco, Sainsbury’s and The Co-operative Group, which have their own pricing deals.

Along with other processors, Wiseman faced farmer protests this summer over plans to cut prices. The company shelved the plans and has since launched plans to work with its suppliers in order to be more transparent on how it determines the farmgate milk price. It called the hike “a substantial increase”.

Wiseman milk procurement director Pete Nicholson said: “This increase is only possible with the timely support of our customers and we are working to this end and confident that this will be secured. Müller is ambitious to grow and to play a major role in UK dairy. This presents real opportunities for dairy farmers who currently supply the Group, and those who don’t but may be considering whether their current buyer is right for them in the long term.”

He added: “It is important to stress the simplicity and flexibility of our contract and approach. The milk price we offer is competitive but crucially it is also a ‘clean’ price which means that it is not reduced by member retentions, capital levies, balancing or haulage charges.

“Whilst this has been an extremely challenging period for the dairy supply chain we believe that a platform now exists from which the industry can begin to look forward. We are confident for the future and we look forward to working with our suppliers to realise our shared aspirations.”

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