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Farmers made to wait for milk payment

Derbyshire’s dairy farmers could be waiting two weeks to receive payment from a co-operative.

First Milk made the announcement yesterday about the delay, which has impacted farms up and down the country.

They blame the volatility of the market during 2014 for the delay and say claim not making the payments to farmers would help put their business in a stronger position.

However their announcement is already having an impact on the ground with staff being made redundant and casual staff being told they don’t have any work to go to.

Matthew Greenhalgh, who is a relief milker for farms around the country including in North Derbyshire, spoke to Peak FM following the decision by First Milk and says it’s already having an impact on his business.

The co-operative, which is fully owned by farmers, says they have seen returns fall by as much as 50% in 2014 compared with the previous year. In a statement on First Milk’s website their 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."

The delay of two weeks might be too long for some of the dairies in and around Derbyshire as Matthew Greenhalgh explains cut backs are already having an impact.

No news of any further delays to payment has been made.

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