Local dairy farmers welcome increase in producer prices
05 January 2022
The 2022 rise reflects significant increases in the cost of feed, fertiliser, and other farm essentials over the past year.
Michael Bray, president of the Guernsey Farmers Association, welcomed the increase, which follows an independent review of local farm costs.
"It is great to see the recognition and support that the Guernsey Dairy is giving local farmers and we would like to thank islanders for their continued loyalty shown to our local dairy products," said Mr Bray.
"Our island farmers have seen unprecedented rises in input costs since the last price rise in 2020. During 2021, with all of the uncertainty islanders were facing, farmers decided unanimously that they would absorb the costs being felt. Unfortunately, what we have seen over the last year is continued increases across the food sector, and this has now meant that some of these costs have had to be added onto the producer price for 2022."
The last increase in the farm gate price was in January 2020.
As a result, Guernsey Dairy's wholesale liquid milk price increased by 4.8% with effect from Sunday 2 January. This is below inflation since the last rise in January 2020, with RPIx to September 2021 showing an increase over that time of 5.3%.
As well as the uplift in the price paid to farms, the rise in the wholesale milk price also reflects increased costs for other supplies used in Guernsey Dairy's production processes, most notably packaging and other consumables.
Guernsey Dairy managing director Andrew Tabel said it will be up to individual distributors and retailers to determine what price they sell milk for, but the increase in wholesale price was essential to the maintenance of the countryside and the unique Guernsey cattle breed.
"Retail prices are no longer set by the States, so it will be for milk distributors and retail outlets to decide whether to absorb the increase, in part or in full, or pass it on to their customers," Mr Tabel said.
"Buying local milk helps support the economy and ensures the money is reinvested to the benefit of the island. Guernsey farmers are custodians of our countryside and guardians of the world-famous Guernsey cow in her island home. As well as taking care of our natural environment, they are required to meet RSPCA Farm Assured animal welfare standards. The Dairy's processing and sale of liquid milk and milk-products provides the financial mechanism that enables the continuation of the island's dairy farming industry."