•  Wyke Farms ups price paid for milk
  •  Poor weather driving up cost of production
  •  Warns on possible milk shortage

Wyke Farms has increased the price it pays farmers for milk by 5ppl and issued a stark warning to the rest of the industry that if they fail to follow suit the UK could be facing milk shortages this winter.

Wyke, the UK's largest independent cheese and milk processor, is the first major dairy to confirm what farmers have been insisting - that if the price for milk does not rise, supplies will be hit.

According to Wyke MD Richard Clothier, milk supplies could drop in the next six months if action is not taken. Poor weather conditions have put pressure on forage crops and many farmers will struggle to feed their cows over the winter as a result, Collier said.

Following a series of price cuts from the UK's largest dairy processors - Arla Foods, Dairy Crest and Robert Wiseman - dairy farming organisations have united in a coalition to demand the reversal of these price redutions. Currently, farmers are insisting that the farmgate milk price fails to cover the cost of production. As a consequence, many farmers are warning that their businesses have become unsustainable and that they will be forced out of business.

Click here for just-food's interview with Wyke MD Richard Clothier

Show the press release

Wyke Farms Increase Milk Price By 0.5ppl

Somerset based Wyke Farms offer positive news to local farmers under pressure

Somerset, UK 19th 2012: - Wyke Farms, the UK's largest independent cheese producer and milk processor, have today announced a flat rate supplement of 0.5ppl to be added to their milk price for August 2012.

The increase from Wyke Farms is in response to the current challenging environment created by extreme weather. The company, whose farming side of the business is also suffering from the effects of the extraordinary weather, has shared concerns with local farmers regarding the quality and yield of crops.

Richard Clothier, third generation family member & Managing Director, Wyke Farms said, "We recognize that the farmers are under a lot of pressure with forage crops failing because of the extreme weather conditions. We hope that the farmers will use the money to cover winter feed because it is becoming clear that many will be struggling to feed the cows over the coming months".

Wyke Farms will review their milk price position again at the end of each subsequent month and given that they are also working through these challenges on their own farms, they are asking their cheese customers to recognize the importance of the supplement.

In March 2009 Richard Clothier issued a 'Call for collaboration' to the dairy industry. He warned that putting additional pressure on cheese, butter and liquid-milk prices could push yet even more dairy farmers out of the industry. Now, over three years later Mr. Clothier is urgently calling upon the industry again, this time to other processors to follow their lead and increase milk prices; warning that there is a real risk to UK milk supplies in the next six months if they don't.

He says "Farmers are well aware of the problem, but there is a very real risk that the rest of us are unaware of the true extent of the forage crop failure and the impact that could have on milk supplies in the autumn and winter. To think that a weather change now would make things better is naïve and unrealistic - the pattern of milk supply is now set for a tough winter."

Original source: Wyke Farms