The NFU is questioning Meadow Foods as the dairy announces strong profits from last year while paying one of the lowest milk prices in mainland UK.
The NFU says Meadow Foods, the UK’s largest independent dairy, is now languishing at the bottom of the milk price league table. The latest AHDB Dairy league table shows Meadow Foods second from bottom paying 19.29ppl. The dairy also recently wrote to all its suppliers to inform of major changes their milk pricing schedule knocking 20 per cent off the A volume it purchases from farmers from April.
NFU dairy board chairman Rob Harrison said: “It’s morally wrong that a dairy posting pre-tax profits of £13.7million in a difficult market situation continues to pay an unsustainable price for milk and takes no consideration of the voluntary code of conduct on contracts and has no formal producer representation.
“Meadow Foods is a major player in the UK dairy industry and should be showing leadership, fairness and transparency to its suppliers and customers. Writing to farmers before the New Year to let them know of major changes to their milk pricing schedule from April with no prior discussion and consultation is unacceptable.
“The NFU fully recognises the continuing difficult dairy market situation facing all in the supply chain but solutions need to be found collaboratively between suppliers and processors – solutions that are explained fully. Meadow Foods knows its suppliers need a strong processor but it also needs strong, resilient dairy farmers that understand the business’ needs now and in the future.”