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Thread: Tighten those belts further!! FM another 1.6p

  1. #31
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    Re: Tighten those belts further!! FM another 1.6p

    In local news with us.
    First Milk will delay its members’ next milk cheque by two weeks to help it balance its books. The payment due on 12 January will be pushed back to 26 January, and all subsequent ones will be made a fortnight later than planned. South Lakes MP Tim Farron has said ‘when first milk defer their payments by two weeks they need to remember people cannot defer their direct debits – this threatens the future of many family farms’.First Milk has also taken 1.1p/litre off the heavy February milk price cuts announced last week, meaning its liquid suppliers will be paid 21.2p/litre and manufacturing farmers will receive 21.57p/litre. Tim has written to the Chairman of First Milk, calling on him to scrap the proposed payment deferment.
    At member meetings in November, the First Milk Board was open about the losses that were accrued in the early months of this financial year as the company dealt with rapidly falling markets. Despite aligning milk prices with market returns to balance the books since October 2014, there remains a gap of 1 pence per litre on an annualised basis due to these earlier accrued losses, which has restricted the cash available to the business.
    First Milk’s chairman, Sir Jim Paice MP, said: “While our lenders have been supportive as we’ve dealt with this volatility, with the added uncertainty of the imminent EU quota removal, the Board has taken the decision to re-build the fundamentals of the business ahead of the spring flush.
    “As such, the Board has therefore decided that the milk payment planned for 12th January will now be deferred until 26th January, with all future payments also being deferred by 2 weeks.”
    “Additionally, the Board have decided to implement the following measures:

    • Reverse 1.1 pence per litre of the February milk price reductions for the manufacturing and liquid pools;
    • Increase members’ capital investment from 0.5 to 2 pence per litre for milk supplied from December 2014 up to August 2015;
    • Increased members capital investment target from 5 to 7 pence per litre

    “These moves will deliver a cash injection into the business and play an integral role in putting our finances and our business on a stronger platform as we approach the spring flush.
    “We understand that the milk payment deferral will cause concern for members as direct debits and payments will have been lined up against milk cheques. On that basis, we are working with all major banks at national, regional and local levels to explain the rationale around this decision. That way, bank managers should be well equipped for any conversations they have with First Milk members.
    “We are a business owned by dairy farmers. The Board are acutely aware of the difficulties this current extreme volatility is causing First Milk members and the UK dairy industry. We don’t know how long this current market downturn will last, and we are aware that hundreds of UK dairy farmers are unlikely to find a home for their milk this spring. Our priority is to make the business and our processing assets as secure as possible in order that we can continue to process and market every litre of our members’ milk.
    “In addition to this move, we are working across a number of areas to deliver a stronger business platform for 2015. Some of these are around better aligning our collective milk supply with market demand, and some are strategic moves. All are aimed at delivering stronger business fundamentals for First Milk heading into the 2015 spring flush.
    “Finally, we have reminded members that our AGM is being held on 30 January at The Holiday Inn Hotel, Haydock and if they are not able to attend, we will also be holding a series of member meetings around the country in February.”
    Tim Farron MP said: “This is awful news for many farmers and could put the viability of some farms at risk. When First Milk make a decision, they need to realise that farmers cannot just defer bills, direct debits or ignore the demands for payments.
    “I am urging First Milk to reverse this decision, and work with any farmers worried about their business to make sure they help them.”
    Tim’s letter to Sir Jim Paice, Chairman of First Milk is below:
    Rt. Hon Sir Jim Paice
    Chairman, First Milk Ltd
    Cirrus House, Glasgow Airport Business Park
    Marchburn Drive
    PAISLEY
    PA3 2SJ
    Our Ref: Trav016/1/ac
    8 January 2015
    Dear Jim
    I write to represent my constituents with regard to today’s announcement by First Milk that the milk payment planned for 12th January will now be deferred until 26th January, with all future payments also being deferred by 2 weeks.
    I appreciate the significant market pressure currently faced by First Milk, but I am extremely concerned that this move will put the viability of some dairy farms at risk. You will be well aware of the fine margins at which many fairy farmers operate and this delayed payment may well force some farms under.
    I would therefore urge First Milk to reverse this decision and work with any farmers worried about their business to help ensure the ongoing viability of the UK diary industry.
    With best wishes,
    Yours sincerely
    Tim Farron MP

  2. #32
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    Re: Tighten those belts further!! FM another 1.6p


  3. #33
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    Re: Tighten those belts further!! FM another 1.6p

    Quote Originally Posted by DairyFarmer111 View Post
    That may go on. But I can't think of a dairyfarmer near me stupid enough to have put himself in to the neck in the last year (well from what I can see looking over the hedge). But most of us want to improve our farms unless we are expecting to retire, and that does cost money in the good times. I don't think anyone near me would be overly borrowed, but none of us are chuffed with the price. Doing it on the cheap this year by delaying cost to another year is not giving a real figure. That is the problem I have with calling 20 p a profit making price. In actual fact, farms that are moving forward, and are carrying a planned, manageable, structured debt for the purpose of long term investment, may have a higher cost this year because the debt has to payed every year, but its reflects a far more true cost of production. Isn't that why the cost tracker contracts are still paying 30 plus p? Because that's what all the costs look like when you roll in proper drawings along with proper reinvestment etc.
    can you show me a commodity based industry(food or not) that has not had periods of boom and bust, has made a profit every year and has not gone through periods of consolidation?
    many thanks lazy.

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    Re: Tighten those belts further!! FM another 1.6p

    Quote Originally Posted by DairyFarmer111 View Post
    That may go on. But I can't think of a dairyfarmer near me stupid enough to have put himself in to the neck in the last year (well from what I can see looking over the hedge). But most of us want to improve our farms unless we are expecting to retire, and that does cost money in the good times. I don't think anyone near me would be overly borrowed, but none of us are chuffed with the price. Doing it on the cheap this year by delaying cost to another year is not giving a real figure. That is the problem I have with calling 20 p a profit making price. In actual fact, farms that are moving forward, and are carrying a planned, manageable, structured debt for the purpose of long term investment, may have a higher cost this year because the debt has to payed every year, but its reflects a far more true cost of production. Isn't that why the cost tracker contracts are still paying 30 plus p? Because that's what all the costs look like when you roll in proper drawings along with proper reinvestment etc.
    How can it be planned and manageable if its not? how can it be "a higher cost this year because the debt has to be paid every year" makes no sense. and surely well planned investments either help increase production or cut costs so should help pay for itself.

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    Re: Tighten those belts further!! FM another 1.6p

    Quote Originally Posted by Einstien View Post
    Supply doesn't change much when farmers give up milking - generally speaking the cows just move to another unit which subsequently produces more milk, so there is a slight flaw in this logic....

    (Yes I accept the cr$p cows - disappear, but they were probably only costing the farmer money anyway)
    that might be the case when only a few farmers are loosing money but this is a real price cut so i'm sure there will be more cows going to be culled than normal. if your right and supply stays high than we won't be seeing price rises for a while will we unless we just wait for demand to come back. its as simply as supply and demand, the end.

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    Re: Tighten those belts further!! FM another 1.6p

    Quote Originally Posted by lazy farmer View Post
    How can it be planned and manageable if its not? how can it be "a higher cost this year because the debt has to be paid every year" makes no sense. and surely well planned investments either help increase production or cut costs so should help pay for itself.
    You really are coming across as an arrogant empathy free twat on this subject, it has to be said.

  7. #37

    Re: Tighten those belts further!! FM another 1.6p

    france is three months behind the rest of europe in price , so when price goes up with you in may we see it in august , and the same for price drop , french farmers know that european milk production went up 2% last year US went up 4% and NZ 12 while world consumption went up only 2 % , there is no need in crying if we produce more than people can use , i was being told with the last few years " what quota they are gone and in 2015 we will flood yee in milk " from people in Ireland and the uk , i wonder do they still think the same ,

    i would be happy with a fair price , high price is as bad as low price , and we are in for a rocky few years with big swings in milk price , two things that will affect milk price are climate change and market drive , the US remain the world's biggest polluters with Canada second ( canada have pulled out of world talks to bring down harmful co2 gases as OZ has also done the same ) oz are going through drought now so that will affect milk supply there is talks of a lift in price for us after may
    it is just me take me as i am

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    Re: Tighten those belts further!! FM another 1.6p

    Quote Originally Posted by lazy farmer View Post
    How can it be planned and manageable if its not? how can it be "a higher cost this year because the debt has to be paid every year" makes no sense. and surely well planned investments either help increase production or cut costs so should help pay for itself.
    Of course highs and lows are par for the course. You just don't want the lows to be too low for too long obviously. You have to start somewhere with debt, and to base projections on a milk price of eighteen pence would be a bit daft, as you'd the sums wouldn't let you even let you get out of bed, never mind borrow. Its not a likely price for the long run. And debt is sometimes unavoidable if you want to take on an investment that is larger than can be worked off in one good years profit. Investments should in the long run aid the economies of the business, but while they are being paid (esp if you wish to pay quickly to get rid of debt), then it may not be short term cheaper. Ie a new faster parlour might save some labour and perhaps be more energy efficient, or produce a better bactoscan, but until paid off the books, its going to weigh. So what? Don't invest?

    No, the handiest way to have a low cost of production is to suck the life out of your sheds, equipment and machinery (that you or someone else took the trouble to put money into years before) until its coming down around you. Then the cost of modernising is so daunting that its often the end of the road.

    By all means, let's subsidise our production cost today by draining our assets, cancelling reinvestment, and living more 'frugally', but let's not pass it off as a sustainable long term business model.

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    Re: Tighten those belts further!! FM another 1.6p

    Quote Originally Posted by matbrojoe View Post
    You really are coming across as an arrogant empathy free twat on this subject, it has to be said.
    I think that's rather unnecessary.

    To me, LF comes across as someone who is in tune with his farm, his cows, his milk buyer and most importantly his costs. Nothing wrong with running a sound, solid business with a weather eye on the future, is there?

    As you're going down the road of insults, I find you referring to somebody as an arrogant twat - whilst amusing, quite ironic .

    I'll leave you to have the last word......

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    Quote Originally Posted by Moors Farmer View Post
    I think that's rather unnecessary.

    To me, LF comes across as someone who is in tune with his farm, his cows, his milk buyer and most importantly his costs. Nothing wrong with running a sound, solid business with a weather eye on the future, is there?
    Maybe it is uncalled for, I think you're quite right in what you say above and I agree he does make many interesting and valid points, it would also be hypocritical of me to say that one shouldn't put over the alternative or unpopular view sometimes. however I'm not sure now is quite the time for 100% undiluted "i told you so".

    The first milk situation doesn't affect me directly, whether that's because i've made 'sound solid business' decisions, or because i just got lucky is another matter, but i have many friends who are in a serious situation because of this, and i feel very sorry for them. I'm not going to go round telling them that they should have done what i've done, partly because everyone's situations is different and not everyone had the same chances as me and partly because sometimes where people have made the wrong decision in hindsight it may well have seemed like the right one at the time, sometimes people work hard and do everything right in their circumstances and it still isn't enough, and sometimes people just make mistakes, and there but for the grace of god go the rest of us.

    By all means point out the harsh realities, but remember some people are going to have to make very hard decisions based on those realities, and those people are our fellow farmers and above all else they deserve our sympathy and support in such difficult times.

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    Quote Originally Posted by matbrojoe View Post
    Maybe it is uncalled for, I think you're quite right in what you say above and I agree he does make many interesting and valid points, it would also be hypocritical of me to say that one shouldn't put over the alternative or unpopular view sometimes. however I'm not sure now is quite the time for 100% undiluted "i told you so".

    The first milk situation doesn't affect me directly, whether that's because i've made 'sound solid business' decisions, or because i just got lucky is another matter, but i have many friends who are in a serious situation because of this, and i feel very sorry for them. I'm not going to go round telling them that they should have done what i've done, partly because everyone's situations is different and not everyone had the same chances as me and partly because sometimes where people have made the wrong decision in hindsight it may well have seemed like the right one at the time, sometimes people work hard and do everything right in their circumstances and it still isn't enough, and sometimes people just make mistakes, and there but for the grace of god go the rest of us.

    By all means point out the harsh realities, but remember some people are going to have to make very hard decisions based on those realities, and those people are our fellow farmers and above all else they deserve our sympathy and support in such difficult times.
    Quite right, there seems to be a class of farmer that thinks because they wear khaki shorts and own a plate meter that everyone else is a prat. The line between success and failure is a fine one at times , there are plenty of people who have never seen the shitty end of a stick and think it can't happen to them because they are too clever.
    It can and it does.

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    My dads old saying always has been, do your best and use your best sober judgement in what ever it is you are doing, after that, its all in how the job/deal turns out I.e. there will be things happen that you couldn't have foreseen.

    On a slightly lighter note, I'd love to have weather for shorts.

    NB dad's eye is better than a plate meter ;0)

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    Re: Tighten those belts further!! FM another 1.6p

    Quote Originally Posted by matbrojoe View Post
    Maybe it is uncalled for, I think you're quite right in what you say above and I agree he does make many interesting and valid points, it would also be hypocritical of me to say that one shouldn't put over the alternative or unpopular view sometimes. however I'm not sure now is quite the time for 100% undiluted "i told you so".

    The first milk situation doesn't affect me directly, whether that's because i've made 'sound solid business' decisions, or because i just got lucky is another matter, but i have many friends who are in a serious situation because of this, and i feel very sorry for them. I'm not going to go round telling them that they should have done what i've done, partly because everyone's situations is different and not everyone had the same chances as me and partly because sometimes where people have made the wrong decision in hindsight it may well have seemed like the right one at the time, sometimes people work hard and do everything right in their circumstances and it still isn't enough, and sometimes people just make mistakes, and there but for the grace of god go the rest of us.

    By all means point out the harsh realities, but remember some people are going to have to make very hard decisions based on those realities, and those people are our fellow farmers and above all else they deserve our sympathy and support in such difficult times.
    I was leaving. Got confirmed offer of contract in writing & last month was told the new buyer was withdrawing their offer. So either I stick it out to the end of this, if I get back in with fm, or I will join the rank & file of all the others exiting this industry!!
    Nice to hear above comment as not sad for myself just badly timed on my part, sorry bad business decision so that's all there is to it, but I also have a lot of mates caught up in this with few assets to fall back on to start life anew. & that's the real hard part of all this.

    Cynically I do wonder that should fm fail, who will replace them as the bottom of the tables? The company who all others promise to pay that penny more over......

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    Re: Tighten those belts further!! FM another 1.6p

    Quote Originally Posted by matbrojoe View Post

    The first milk situation doesn't affect me directly, whether that's because i've made 'sound solid business' decisions, or because i just got lucky is another matter, but i have many friends who are in a serious situation because of this, and i feel very sorry for them. I'm not going to go round telling them that they should have done what i've done, partly because everyone's situations is different and not everyone had the same chances as me and partly because sometimes where people have made the wrong decision in hindsight it may well have seemed like the right one at the time, sometimes people work hard and do everything right in their circumstances and it still isn't enough, and sometimes people just make mistakes, and there but for the grace of god go the rest of us.

    By all means point out the harsh realities, but remember some people are going to have to make very hard decisions based on those realities, and those people are our fellow farmers and above all else they deserve our sympathy and support in such difficult times.
    My prize for post of the day. Some should take time to read and digest it before they open their mouths (keyboards)

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    Pembrokeshire farmer and First Milk vice chairman Nigel Evans appears on camera to explain more about why this week’s measures have been required, and gives his views on future of First Milk. Members with any queries should contact their local area rep, farm enterprise team member, or Board member. Contact details for area reps and farm enterprise team can be found here: http://www.firstmilk.co.uk/media-cent...
    Contact details for farmer directors can be found on the members website: http://www.firstmilk.co.uk
    British Farming Forum on Facebook - www.facebook.com/groups/BritishFarmingForum

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    Re: Tighten those belts further!! FM another 1.6p

    Has to be said it seems awfully like the last days before collapse of DFoB.

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    Quote Originally Posted by simplesimon View Post
    that might be the case when only a few farmers are loosing money but this is a real price cut so i'm sure there will be more cows going to be culled than normal. if your right and supply stays high than we won't be seeing price rises for a while will we unless we just wait for demand to come back. its as simply as supply and demand, the end.

    Oh yeah, I totally agree, I'm just pointing out that when a dairy farmer gives up it barely effects supply of milk as, generally speaking, the cows just get bought and milked elsewhere!!

    supply only really effected by seasonal feed, I guess the climate effect on feed and animal, and the overall numbers!

    Indeed the real secret is to re establish demand from More People/China/Russia/Elsewhere/Aid etc etc!

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    Re: Tighten those belts further!! FM another 1.6p

    if you,re only tightening the belt now you are too late. its nothing new. what could be new is how long it lasts. milk has been talked down since last march althought prices have held well until now. ive seen no green shoots not even a snowdrop

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    Re: Tighten those belts further!! FM another 1.6p

    Amongst other things I have read that 'many farmers won't find a home for their milk this spring'. Why? Are loads of producers on notice or are these the ones that went from contracts to spot market?

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    Re: Tighten those belts further!! FM another 1.6p

    First time I remember a sector of Farming being a feature on the 6 o'clock news outside of F&M and floods. Meurig Raymond was not exactly at his best when challenged by Tom Heap.

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    Quote Originally Posted by essexpete View Post
    First time I remember a sector of Farming being a feature on the 6 o'clock news outside of F&M and floods. Meurig Raymond was not exactly at his best when challenged by Tom Heap.
    He was on the Today programme this morning with Handley, neither of them really got the point across very well. I'm told another NFU bod was trounced on the Jeremy Vine show this afternoon by some academic. Is there no one with a bit of nouse or media training who could put the point across? We do seem to be woefully lacking a spokesman who can articulate the plight of the uk dairy industry.

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    Re: Tighten those belts further!! FM another 1.6p

    Quote Originally Posted by essexpete View Post
    First time I remember a sector of Farming being a feature on the 6 o'clock news outside of F&M and floods. Meurig Raymond was not exactly at his best when challenged by Tom Heap.
    He was a disgrace and the item lost all the momentum given it by the Cumbrian farmer.


    As an aside, I note that a dairy farmer won the BDO darts championship winning £100k for doing so. Only The Sun equated this figure to the AVERAGE EU farm subsidy. Bet the NFU don't react to that!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bald Rick View Post
    He was a disgrace and the item lost all the momentum given it by the Cumbrian farmer.


    As an aside, I note that a dairy farmer won the BDO darts championship winning £100k for doing so. Only The Sun equated this figure to the AVERAGE EU farm subsidy. Bet the NFU don't react to that!
    Are you able to provide a link to that story I missed it?

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    Re: Tighten those belts further!! FM another 1.6p

    Here's Rob Harrison from NFU getting put in his place by the academic

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b04x0t4h


    Also, BBC local Radio station had an interview with one half of FW's Dairy farmer of the year. He's a First Milk supplier.
    40 mins into the programme.
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p02fx172

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    Quote Originally Posted by JimF View Post
    Here's Rob Harrison from NFU getting put in his place by the academic

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b04x0t4h


    Also, BBC local Radio station had an interview with one half of FW's Dairy farmer of the year. He's a First Milk supplier.
    40 mins into the programme.
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p02fx172
    OK, just listened to that and I'd like to think i would have taken a different approach to answering the guy than Rob did, but in fairness to Rob Jeremy Baker (probably deliberately) puts him on the back foot by taking a very aggressive stance in his initial statement which instantly puts Rob on the defensive.

    Baker essentially says that it's our fault as farmers for not branding our milk in order to add value to it. now this is a fair point, it's what organic producers are doing, and it's essentially what i've suggested in the thread about fair trade. However in the context of the current problem he's misunderstanding the nature of the problem, which is not just farmers being shafted by the retailers and processors, but a perfect storm of adverse world market conditions exacerbated by milk being used as the supermarkets' weapon of choice in a price war for market share.

    Now Rob does touch on some of these points but he's too busy being angry with Baker telling him he's shit at his job to put them across coherently.

    MY response to him would have been what i've said above plus pointing out that farmers whilst being highly skilled individuals aren't necessarily experts in marketing, and that 10,000 individual businesses being dictated to by a small number of powerful buyers aren't necessarily in a good position to launch branded products themselves, though i felt their was some value n what he says regarding the importance of adding value to counter milk being seen as a throwaway product.

    Jeremy Baker is a marketing guru:

    http://www.escpeurope.eu/nc/faculty-...r/-/biography/

    Assuming they'd told Rob who he was going to be on with then he could have found this out by googling him as i just have and would have had an idea what he was likely to say. It's ever likely he went on about marketing because he's a marketing expert and if you have a hammer, every problem looks like a nail.

    Again to be fair to Rob, it's a lot easier to sit here and come up with a smart answer than to come out with one off the cuff when you're on the spot on live radio.

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    Quote Originally Posted by wastedyears View Post
    Are you able to provide a link to that story I missed it?
    If it's The Sun story .... you can't get it online without being a subscriber to Sun+. AND I don't want to be labelled a serial Sun reader (although it does save having to think too hard about the news)

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    Will this be true?

    WORKING a proposed “day a week” chairing the First Milk farmers’ co-operative for an annual salary of £125,000 ...
    http://www.private-eye.co.uk/section..._link=hp_sauce
    British Farming Forum on Facebook - www.facebook.com/groups/BritishFarmingForum

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    Re: Tighten those belts further!! FM another 1.6p

    Quote Originally Posted by Sam_TM View Post
    Will this be true?

    WORKING a proposed “day a week” chairing the First Milk farmers’ co-operative for an annual salary of £125,000 ...
    http://www.private-eye.co.uk/section..._link=hp_sauce
    It's on his wiki page, FWIW


    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Paice (but i notice that the reference is to the private eye article so not much use in confirming it)

    but, this link from the BBC says "on a reported salary of £125K"

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england...shire-23699396

    so on balance, i'd say yes, it's true. nice work if you can get it, eh?

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    Re: Tighten those belts further!! FM another 1.6p

    There are some interesting comments on todays Food programme on radio 4 about the Irish dairy industry, the programme is about the history of baby formula, it touches on how much of the milk from the planned post quota expansion of irish dairy farming will be channeled into baby formula for export to the far east and china.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b0505l3f

    It ties in with something that David Handley said at the Bakewell meeting, that Ireland has spent more on processing capacity in the last 2 years than the UK has in the last 20.

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