Posted by: madkentdragon | May 28, 2012

The Price of Cheap Milk

Would you go to work and pay for it out of your own pocket?

Well that’s what a lot of dairy farmers have to do! These farmers are receiving less per litre of milk than it costs to produce, and it’s getting worse.

The breakeven price for milk should be, according to accountants, just over 37pence per litre – but the big conglomerates of supermarkets pay 26 pence for that litre, leaving the average dairy farmer with a loss which has to be funded from their own pocket; surely this cannot be fair?

Pretty portraits of milk-maids with the yoke and two buckets full of milk lay in the past, and no milk can be sold at the farm gate unless it is pasteurised. Today’s farms, with their mechanical milking parlours cost money, but less than the man-power would to hand milk – and more hygienic.

Cows – OK you can breed your own and slowly increase your milking herd, but even so grass alone won’t feed them and the cost of feed rises much as our food costs rise – so why doesn’t the sum they get for milk?

The Milk Marketing Board was deregulated back in 1994; this Board regulated the price of milk and would, in extreme conditions, buy up unwanted reserves of milk to turn into cheese. However without this fail-safe milk suppliers are at the mercy of the buyers, who can refuse a contract if they can get it cheaper elsewhere.

Some farmers are now looking at other ways to use the milk, like specialist cheeses and creams, however just as many – if not more are selling up as they can no longer afford to subsidise the farms or have bank loans that are now due to be repaid.

If this continues the lack of dairy farms will mean that supermarkets will go outside of the UK to buy the milk that you and I use every day. Can these supplies be as clean or safe as the milk coming from this country?

Would you risk your child being contaminated with TB or other diseases by this milk – I wouldn’t, I want my milk to be British, so it may cost a bit more – but let’s face it the middle-men and supermarkets who make a large profit on each litre sold – could absorb some of this.

I want our green and pleasant land to be that, with dairy farmers once more being the rosy cheeked chap chatting up the milk-maid in the picture – not some browbeaten, bankrupt man with his head in his hands.



  1. Reblogged this on Daibhidhdeux's Blog.

  2. Totally agree with this Pat – at one time the price of a pint of milk and a pint of beer was the same. The bullying and greedy supermarkets and high street stores have put many a company, dairy, et alia, out of business – shame on them. I want my children & grandchildren to have British milk too!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: