Westland warns of EU threat to dairy prices

Westland warns of EU threat to dairy prices
Westland Milk Products has named a new chief executive while warning that "protective" subsidies for European Union farmers could further depress dairy commodity prices Stuff reported. Yesterday, Westland named Rod Quin, who has been with Fonterra as global account director dealing with food giant Nestle, to start in mid-April. Acting chief executive Hugh Little welcomed the appointment at a time when soft commodity prices, including those for milk powder, could come under further pressure. Mr Little said it had been hoped world dairy prices had recently bottomed after their all-time high in November 2007. But an announcement this week that the EU was taking a protectionist stance was worrying. The EU says it will revive export subsidies for butter, cheese and milk powder after ditching them two years ago. This will put pressure on New Zealand dairy farmers. "We thought we might have been close to the bottom, but the news on the EU commission reintroducing these refunds or subsidies ... We have to see what the effect of that is now; that was something we really didn't need at this point in time," Mr Little said.

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