New Brunswick Farm Products Commission

Milk prices to increase Feb. 1 (09/01/30)

NB 86

Jan. 30, 2009

FREDERICTON (CNB) - An increase in the price consumers will pay for their milk has been announced by The New Brunswick Farm Products Commission. The change, which takes effect Feb. 1, incorporates several adjustments in milk prices, and will result in a consumer price increase of 3.6 cents per litre.

"The price of milk in New Brunswick, factoring in the mid-year price increase approved in September, has risen 4.5 per cent this year over last," said Hazen Myers, chairman of the commission. "This increase is significantly lower than the 7.4 per cent increase in the overall cost of food items for the same period, as reported by Statistics Canada."

Dairy producers receive will now receiver an additional 3.04 cents per litre, which reflects the inventory cost of livestock feed now being used, but which was produced and harvested when energy and fertilizer costs were at an all-time high. It is hoped that the current reduction in fuel prices will be sustained long enough to lower production costs during the next growing season. Processors will not receive an increase over the 1.45 cents per litre approved in September, and retailers will continue to receive their standard markup.

"The commission feels that by implementing these adjustments it has succeeded in upholding its mandate of balancing the interests of producers and processors while maintaining competitive prices for New Brunswick consumers," Myers said.

School milk prices will remain unchanged for the upcoming school year. Under this program, processors and producers in recent years have been subsidizing the price of milk for New Brunswick school children by about $1.3 million per year. This program provides a significant saving to school children in the province.

"I want to commend the dairy industry for its long-standing support of this important program," Myers said.

The New Brunswick Farm Products Commission represents producers, processors and consumers, and is responsible for setting the minimum retail and the wholesale price of fluid milk products in New Brunswick.

09/01/30

MEDIA CONTACTS: Hazen Myers, chairman, or Robert Goggin, general manager, New Brunswick Farm Products Commission, 506-453-3647.

09/01/30