Government needs to make haste in implementing the cess on milk and milk substitutes as promised in the Budget. The cess, which is being seen as an incentive that will boost the local dairy industry, will see the farm gate price increase by 25 per cent per kilogram. This is the price for the sale of farm produce direct from the producer.
Pine Hill Dairy Operations Manager, Lorenzo Roach, says it is critical that the cess be implemented as soon as possible and be properly managed if the industry is to survive in the long term.
Speaking this morning at a ceremony held to honour two milk farmers who have made a sterling contribution to the industry, Roach said, “In addition to ensuring that all industry players benefit, the cess should also see a reduction in Barbados’ dependence on food imports in the dairy category.”
He said overall they have seen an increase in the consumption of milk, not only in the white milk category which is, “our most popular segment, but across all milk categories and that is a heartening development.”
Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler in the 2015 Financial Statement and Budgetary Proposals said from August 2015 there would have been a tax on milk. The cess he said should have two rates – a 5 per cent rate for milk products containing 60 per cent or more of liquid fresh cow’s milk and a 10 per cent for all other milks and milk substitutes. The only exception to this, he said, would be the local goat’s milk. The farm gate price for milk collected from farms was to increase by $0.25 per kg.