VICTORIAN dairy farmers are demanding milk processors shape up on opening price announcements, calling for messaging that is transparent and reflective of the market.
United Dairyfarmers of Victoria President Adam Jenkins said dairy farmers need early and transparent opening prices to budget for the coming season and plan for the year ahead.
“Milk processors must show respect for dairy farmers and regional communities by committing to announce a timely, realistic opening price so their suppliers can plan next year’s budget,” UDV president Adam Jenkins said.
“Farmers are desperate for certainty and it is simply unacceptable, especially considering the challenging conditions of the past two seasons, for processors to stall or misrepresent their opening price announcements.”
Burra Foods released an opening range of $5.60-$5.90/ kilogram milk solidsS last week, including the annualised portion of the Commitment Bonus offered in July 2017, approximately 13 cents/kgMS.
While the farmer group welcomed Burra’s early announcement and the option to switch to a 1:1 butterfat:protein payment ratio, they criticised what is an unachievable opening price for many.
“Any incentive payments need to be clearly separated from the opening farmgate milk price. These muddled announcements are misleading and not reflective of the current market price.” Mr Jenkins said.
The UDV is now travelling the countryside to gain farmer support for a campaign to push processors to simplify their payment structures, including announcing opening prices that reflect the true value of milk.
“We believe a simplified structure will address farming system inefficiencies and confusion around complicated milk payment calculations,” Mr Jenkins said.
“There is only so much dairy farmers can take before they start allocating their resources to other farming pursuits.”
The UDV price structure roadshow continues in the following locations:
Cohuna, Monday, June 25, 7.30pm. Kyabram, Tuesday, June 26, 11am. Numurkah, Tuesday, June 26, 7.30pm.
To RSVP call the VFF on 1300 882 833 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Farmers can find out more at www.FairPayments4Dairy.com.