the plight of british milk

I just wanted to ask all of you what your thought where on  the present plight of some of our  dairy farmers

I think its very sad that farmers that have been producing milk for many generations  are sadly calling it a day and selling there cows

as we know milk in most stores and supermarkets  is at an all time low

and I was surprised that Tesco and Sainsbury’s to mention two supermarkets give a fair price to there milk producers

then there’s the rest that buy there milk from the dairy that screws the milk producers the dairy farmer down to rock bottom prices that is unfortunately with the price of cattle feeds is uneconomical in relation to farmers producing milk

I remember when we had the milk marketing board a price was set to all milk producers that gave everyone the same price for there milk basically a level playing field

so will we end up like all these things the  survival of the fittest if you can’t make it pay sell up who gives a damn

14 Responses

  1. VegVamp says:

    Found it very sad Roly and unbelievably stupid that people are paying more for bottled water than they are for milk! How crazy is that.

    Did you see after the reports that something like 80/90% of customers would be more than happy to pay more for milk. I did find that encouraging.

    I’d really like to know more about the production costs though, both for dairy farms and processors, the information there seems rather “woolly”? There must be a big difference in costs surely?

  2. gibbon says:

    I can also rember milk being pourd down the drains in order to keep the price up. not by the farmers but by the people that had contracts with them it was at the time of the wine lakes and when they sold butter to rusher at 8p a lb, it is what maggie called surply and demand, none of us are treated fairly nither the farmers or the public, they all pay the farmers the same price for the milk, but at the other end in this area it is 89p for 4pints in the supermarket at the gardencenter come greengrosers come deli it is £i.45, at the village type of super market it is £i.51 and at the butchers it is £1,99. the big supermarket is 5miles away sainsburys the other places I mention are spred over two villages, so we are not to blame for the shabby way the farmers are treated, and there is nothing we can do about it or they will biy it from france were the farmers are subsidised. :rage:

  3. mick1970 says:

    worlds gone mad…….todays milk is stinking i used to be a milkboy i did drink it, cant beat a cold glass of milk……..more cows means you need more land if you can afford this you get help with bigger grants but your normal family farmer is lucky if he brings a wage in so cant compete with all these robotic cow palours what are being thrown up all over place producing the amount needed to still work on profits get grants land and beasts easy money to them thats how i see it roly

  4. Beanstew says:

    I’ve been worried about this for quite a while Roly. It is short-sighted and poor business practice – and yet another reason to dislike the buying practices of the big supermarkets. I am quite sure most shoppers must be dreading the day when enough dairy farmers have been driven out of business, the price rockets, and our milk becomes an expensive luxury. And behind this manipulation of the market must lie countless human tragedies of family businesses and traditions carried on over several generations, and ruined by Asda and Tesco etc. Think the British public should be blockading these stores to demand the farmers are treated fairly.

  5. Jenn says:

    I was puzzling over that new Co-Op ad that says that milk is so important…and that is why we only charge such & such for it’. If it is such a commodity shouldn’t we pay a realistic price for it and support our farmers. I know that there is a huge fashion for getting something for nothing or as less as possible(with huge implications for animal welfare and those that live off the land and hence the rise of discount supermarkets such as Netto, Aldi and Lidl) but I think you get what you pay for in a lot of respects and it may not obviously be the goods in your shopping basket. We may be a few pennies richer but the UK industry is being ground down to the lowest common denominator and people are losing their livelihood. We collude with the supermarkets because we want cheap prices with no value put on the production. Do we want milk imported because we don’t have enough home-produced supply? It is ridiculous. We should be becoming more self sufficient, not less. I try to buy organic milk when possible – it is more expensive (not excessively) but I believe that it is better for us, the cows and the dairy farmer. We get it delivered by Sam the milkie who trudges through the snow in the middle of a Sunday and Thursday night…I think that warrants another 10-15p a bottle.

  6. shedsue says:

    The supermarkets only provide what the public wants…the fault is at our own door, Dont buy it and they will stop selling it…simples!!!….same as eggs from caged hens..on and on I could go :rage:
    As the song go’s….”The public gets what the public wants”

  7. gibbon says:

    people go on asbout the dairy farmers shuting up shop ,I ashore you this will not bother the supermarkets ,it will just give them an excuse to biy ther milk from the contea#nant, were they get it cheaper from subsetised farms, they did that some years ago and we all kicked up about it, that is why we still have dairy farms in this country, so closeing down dairy farms in thnis country is the plan of the supermarkets, we should be fighting for the farmers not just paying lip service to them as we are doing hear,

  8. SIMONDO says:

    This is a complex and no longer controllable situation due to the ‘Globalisation” of the world we have developed in my humble opinion. Im from a farming background and my sister and Bro in-law have a organic farm. They converted some time ago to stay in business due to ethics and seeing that they couldn’t compete, even at 500 acres in size in conventional modern farming. Organic at the time was premium and expanding so it paid more true amounts to cover costs. Back in the 80s Sis used to milk for a small farm that had a green top ( Unpasturised ) milk round. As the doorstep rounds diminished due to a change in the publics shopping habits and a EU’s directive of upgrading and changing the rules on raw milk they couldn’t carry on. We have a fundamental issue I’m afraid…Globalisation . It has no sympathy for local or even national businesses . Most big business is international and transport enables goods to be moved all over the planet without the full cost being reflected. Milk is in many things , so it is a internationally traded commodity. There’s the rub I’m afraid !! We are not protected from the rest of the worlds peeks and dips as we once were when we produced most of the milk products at home. Thats my observation from a farming background.

  9. My f-i-l was a Devon dairy farmer before retiring. All of what Simon says is correct. When I can buy British, I do and when I can buy local, I do to support the farming communities. Understandably, it’s unfortunate that many people today are not in a position to pay a premium – but don’t get me started on that – this isn’t the place for it.

  10. roly says:

    many good comments on this topic for what its worth we try to buy British where possible we buy our meat from the butchers shop that sells meat from local farms and its not at premium prices in fact his meat is the same as supermarket prices and the shop is always busy

    we also use the local milkman who deliverers all weathers to our doorstep

    I can remember when the government of the day paid dairy farmers to pack up milking two farmers took the payoff and within 3 years one had gone bankrupt and had to sell the farm and the other sold most of his land that was suitable for arable land

    the point is if a farmer could divers from milk production to arable then perhaps this mite save the day but not all pasture land is compatible for arable :negative:

    and then there’s the tenant farmer that despite his circumstances still has to find his rent these are the ones I feel sorry for :cry:

    and for most dairy farmers who know there cows by name that’s his way of life 7 days a week 12 months of the year :yes:

    to me British milk produced by British farmers is still the best and something I hope will never change I don’t want foreign milk on my cornflakes :rage:

  11. Veggiepatch says:

    We buy British where possible. Bread from local bakers, meat from butchers etc in fact it pays to get a good relationship with local shops. For example I bought my weekly meat from the butchers (they call it a couples pack and has everything I need incl the Sunday joint). On 1 occasion I went on near closing time on the Saturday. Instead of the normal amount of steak I got extra for free as they did t want to store a small amount over the weekend when they ‘re open on Tuesday am.

    I also have milk from milkman and order my cream etc from him too, he often drops off freebees so another bonus. They are also struggling to survive and can only deliver every other day to make it worthwhile keeping the round going. I’d hate to see the milkman disappear like the coalman and popman.

  12. roly says:

    couldn’t agree more with your comments veggiepatch :good:

  13. karenp says:

    We’ve had our milk delivered now for 28yrs and I still have the glass bottles as do feel it stays fresher longer, ours now deliver just 3 days a week, but now I can order even bags of compost, I do feel it’s important to support our milky too, and I,m in the xmas saving club and get all those lovely treats delivered to the doorstep.
    But saying all that am not sure if the farmer gets a fare price from the local dairy, I just hope they do.
    I certainly would,nt object to paying that little bit more either to save our dairy farmers.
    As shedsue says it’s up to us shoppers to boycott these sellers as most of us did with factory hens, I stopped buying these eggs back in 1979 after seeing a documentary on factory farming, converted my parents at the time too on these poor hens plight, do buy free range meat, just means we all have less on plate due to price but the taste makes up for it and I feel happier for it knowing that at least the animal has had some quality of life :-)

  14. Yewbarrow says:

    Think it is dreadful Roly that farmers can’t get a proper price for their milk and the supermarkets etc. can hold them to ransom over the amount they pay the farmers for their milk. We have always had a milkman for the whole of our 42 years marriage and before that we both had milk from local farms, in fact OH used to go across the road and collect the milk as the cows were being milked – do my best to always buy British, our butcher raises his own animals and buys in additional local meat as well, our bread is made locally by one of our bakers (we have two in this small town) but more needs to be done me thinks

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