DEFICIENT MILK PRICE THREATENS ORGANICS

ging Director of Hi Peak Organic Feeds, who says the current organic milk price is unsustainable and warns organic livestock farmers not to expect any significant reduction in feed prices this year.

” I believe that unless processors and retailers take the bull by the horns and instigate a meaningful price rise which will benefit both conventional and organic producers, the matter is likely to be overridden by a government imposed formula,” says Mr Proctor.

” A move to set milk price based on commodity inputs or cost-of-production criteria is gathering support and being actively discussed within the EU. It also has the advantage of providing an inbuilt premium for organic milk at a time when some organic producers receive less than their conventional counterparts.

“Failure by retailers and processors to address the issue will mean a further exodus, with a disproportionately high number likely to be organic. This would fly directly in the face of stated government objectives; namely to secure a vibrant organic sector as part of its environmental agenda.

“Some current organic producers may be able to opt out and return later; but others will leave for good. When in a few years these producers are needed to meet growing demand, the shortfall will be filled form Europe,” he commented.

Mr Proctor went on to say that predictions of a modest cereal harvest worldwide meant feed prices were likely to stay high. He said organic milk should on average be at least 5ppl more than conventional if extra production costs were to be covered. He added that low organic brand awareness was still a problem among most consumers and that milk price wars in some supermarkets were unhelpful and devalued the organic message.

Further information from: Ian Proctor, Managing Director
Hi Peak Organic Feeds
Hi Peak Feeds Mill
Sheffield Road
Killamarsh
Derbyshire
S21 1ED
Tel: 0114 2480608
Email: ian@hipeak.co.uk