Milk prices jump for school children
New Brunswick's students will be paying more for milk in schools for the first time in seven years, according to the New Brunswick Farm Products Commission.
The commission announced on Thursday that milk prices will be increasing by four cents a litre on Aug. 1 to help dairy farmers pay for the higher costs of fuel, fertilizer and feed.
At the same time, the commission is allowing school milk prices to jump by five cents per portion of milk starting in September.
The School Milk Program has not changed its costs in seven years. The program subsidizes the price of milk for school children by roughly $1.3 million each year, according to the commission.
"This industry-led subsidy still provides a significant saving, and we must commend the dairy industry for its long-standing support of this important program," said Robert Shannon, the farm products commission's chairman.
The commission said dairy producers will see a 3.07-cent per litre increase but once the retail mark-up is added, milk buyers will have to pay an extra four cents per litre.
Shannon said the higher costs are to offset cost increases being faced by the province's dairy farmers.
"The commission feels that with these adjustments, it has managed to balance the interests of producers and processors while maintaining competitive prices for New Brunswick consumers," Shannon said.
This is the second time in 2011 that the commission has approved increases to the cost of milk.
The price of milk increased by five cents per litre on Feb. 1.