A report in the Financial Times suggests that Robert Wiseman Dairies, who supply nearly a third of all the UK's fresh milk, has warned that the higher cost of diesel and plastic packaging could hit profits in the coming year as it faces pressure to increase 'farm gate' prices to its suppliers.
Wiseman's, who have a processing plant in Market Drayton, have conceded that farmers face their own cost pressures on fuel and animal feed, but said it would have to balance the interest of its suppliers against the need to protect its own margins with retailers as they tackled cost inflation.
A spokesman for Wiseman's said "The recent rises in oil-related costs are significant," arguing that the price of diesel and plastic used in milk containers now stood 10% higher than four months ago. "Such increases, if sustained, have the potential to materially impact costs going forward."
Roberts Wiseman also hinted it may be prompted into increasing the amount paid to farmers for liquid milk (currently at an average of approx 25ppl) to match offers from other dairy suppliers.