August 2, 2008


Japan's dairy farmers gather in Tokyo to call for hikes in milk prices 


More than 2,000 dairy farmers in Japan gathered Thursday (July 31, 2008) in Tokyo's Hibiya Park to demand price hikes from processors.


The dairy farmers are demanding that milk companies pay at least JPY10 more per kilogramme and pass the cost on to consumers as farmers increasingly face crippling feed costs.


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 JPY3 nationwide, pushing up the cost of other dairy products, including cheese and butter.


However farmers insist the price hike would not be able to cover costs, considering that feed costs have jumped more than JPY 13/kg.


Along with higher energy costs, farmers are now paying JPY 15/kg more than they did before.


The farmers' rally was aimed at highlighting their plight to consumers.


Two years ago low demand forced dairy farmers in Hokkaido to dump huge amounts of excess milk.


The diary farmers' rally in Tokyo comes weeks after Japanese fishermen gathered in the capital to call for government subsidies to help defray high fuel costs.

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