Thousands of dairy farmers seek price hike
By TAKAHIRO FUKADA Staff writer
Faced with surging feed costs, more than
2,000 dairy farmers from across the country gathered Thursday in Tokyo's Hibiya
Park to tell milk producers they will face a price hike.
In the dairy industry, milk is sold by the
kilogram, and the farmers are demanding that milk companies pay at least ¥10
more and pass the cost on to consumers.
"The environment surrounding the dairy business is beyond extremely
severe," said Yasunobu Ando, an executive of the Dairy Farmers Political
Federation of Japan.
"Not only can we not cover our production costs, we can't pay our
living expenses, either."
Like other farmers, dairy farmers must care
for the animals that produce their products and cannot simply go on strike like
other industries, Ando said.
"We must continue to take care of cows 24 hours a day, 365 days a
year," he said.
"If this price hike isn't made, dairy farming will eventually disappear
Every winter, the milk manufacturers and dairy farmer organizations negotiate
the prices to be paid for milk.
All price changes are supposed to be reflected in the retail prices for
milk and other dairy products.
The price of milk has already risen ¥3
nationwide, pushing up the cost of other dairy products, including cheese and
butter. But that's not enough, the farmers say.
The Japan Times: Friday, Aug. 1, 2008
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