[2 February/ Radio New Zealand]

Westland Milk Products has cut its forecast milk price back by more than 20 cents. They are expecting a price of between $6.20 and $6.50 which is relatively similar when compared to Fonterra, $6.40, and Synlait, $6.50. Westland’s chair Pete Morrison stressed that they seek to be fair to all of their stakeholders and wanted to maintain integrity by indicating what their expectations were. Mr Morrison added that the value of the dollar also had an impact on prices. Westland have also announced a new relationship with New Zealand’s largest farmland investment fund, Southern Pastures. The deal is expected to bring in an extra four million kilograms of milk solids each season from June this year. The deal opens up various other opportunities for Westland, which included working with Lewis Road Creamery, which Southern Pastures acquired an interest in late last year.