A breath of fresh air for milk producers. Lactalis, owner of the Lactel brands, President or Roquefort Société has reached an agreement with the National Union of Lactalis delivery breeders (Unell) on the price of milk paid to partner producers approaching 500 euros/1,000 liters, up 32% compared to the same period in 2021, for the fourth quarter. “ This price stands at 490 euros all premiums and qualities combined “, specifies the company in a press release which underlines “ that the increase goes beyond the evolution of producers’ production costs (18%) “. The company also argues that its charges in France increased by 18% in 2022. “ The year 2023 promises to be even more difficult, in particular on the subject of energy on which the group anticipates a near doubling of its bill to more than 1 billion euros. “.
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On the occasion of the international food fair, which is currently taking place in Villepinte, Marc Fesneau, Minister of Agriculture, assured that the State would come to the aid of ” energy-intensive food industries in an attempt to reduce their energy bill. Part of these increases will, however, according to him, be “ absorbed by the cost – in other words, be passed on in the purchase price of products by supermarkets, then in the consumer’s basket. The Minister also assured that the agricultural and agri-food sectors would be ” priority » in the event of power cuts this winter. ” Milk does not keep “warned Emmanuel Besnier, CEO of Lactalis.
Manufacturers are fighting with large retailers to obtain price increases
Lactalis is thus calling on mass retailers to new and necessary price increases for (our) dairy products to reflect the explosion in production costs. For several months, manufacturers have been battling with large retailers to obtain these price increases which, ultimately, also condition the income of breeders. ” The increases that we have passed are around 15-20%, but we will have to double again next year warns Yvan Borgne, export sales director of the Laïta dairy cooperative, emphasizing the difficult compromise between low prices for consumers and fair remuneration for farmers.
At the beginning of September, the government called on large retailers to accept, in the context of negotiations with food manufacturers, the price increases requested by producers.
“We are at a turning point: distributors must take their responsibilities, brands must agree to pass the increases (in tariffs) to guarantee the remuneration of farmers and ensure the sustainability of the dairy sector”, had demanded the ministry. “If we refuse to pay the milk at the price of its production costs, tomorrow we will be forced to import it,” he added.
The war in Ukraine, combined with the inflation of production costs and this summer’s heat wave, which resulted in a historic drought, is further despairing breeders. In this summer period when dairy cows usually feed largely on pasture, grass production fell by 31% compared to a normal year. For lack of grass, many breeders had to feed their animals with the fodder rations provided for the winter. They will then be condemned to buy fodder at a high price, or even to sell part of their livestock to have fewer mouths to feed.