The wholesale price of Jersey Dairy milk will increase by 5p per litre on Monday 5 April 2021 to address significant increases in farm costs.
These arise from the many challenges created by Covid-19 for the Island’s dairy industry over the last year.
A spokesman for the Jersey Dairy said: ‘Since the arrival of Covid-19, the Island continued to have a daily supply of fresh nutritious Jersey milk. Jersey Dairy was not immune to the effect of Covid-19 and our business suffered financially as a result of the impact of the lockdown measures in the UK on our exports into that market.
Our farms also suffered financially with cattle feed and staff costs being the main items affecting their profitability. These costs have increased by 46% and 58% respectively over the last three years and now absorb over 50% of farm income.
‘Our review of the profitability of our dairy farms indicates that they need an urgent increase in the price they receive for the milk they supply Jersey Dairy if they are to have a sustainable commercial future and continue their environmental stewardship and hence the reason dor the wholesale price of Jersey Dairy milk.’
All the income raised from this price increase will be passed back to dairy farmers. Nevertheless, this will be insufficient to address in full the profitability issues, so other initiatives at Jersey Dairy, including price increases on its products in export markets, together with various initiatives on the farms, are been implemented to address the balance of the sum required.
Over the last ten years, RPI in the Island has increased by 24% whilst the price of Jersey Dairy fresh milk has risen by 20%.
The spokesman continued: ‘We fully understand that any price increase, particularly in these uncertain Covid-19 times, is not what consumers and businesses want to hear but it is essential we do so and do so now if we want our farmers to have a sustainable commercial future and to continue their environmental stewardship.
‘The pricing on our other products in the local market are being kept to a minimum, particularly our premium butter which retails locally at a price which is lower than it is in our export markets.
‘We know our consumers care about the environment and we would like to assure them that Jersey Dairy and our farmers are committed to protecting the environment in a pro-active and continuous process and numerous initiatives have been implemented or in the process of being implemented.’
The following initiatives, independently audited by LEAF, have been introduced to enhance environmental protection:
*Energy audits (resource saving)
*Waste management plans (manure use)
*Crop nutrient plans (fertiliser use)
*Biodiversity action plans (wildlife enhancement including tree planting)
*Cattle breeding plans (improving production efficiency).
The industry has also recently launched ‘DEEP’, Dairy Environmental Enhancement Plan. This has three strands each led by independent experts in their respective disciplines employing both Jersey and international resources:
*Greenhouse gas emissions
A solar array on the roof of Jersey Dairy has the capacity to heat 75 homes in the Island a year.