Milk crisis looming for dairy farmers

2 October 2014

milk2 Dairy farmers have had enough and can't take it anymore.

And they've had so much hassle and so udderly fed up that they're planning on taking direct action in protest.

With fresh cuts announced this week, the amount farmers receive for their milk has been slashed each month for the last four months.

Some farmers now face revenue losses of up to 25%.

Speaking at the Dairy Show  - like some massive sexy milk expo - at the Bath and West Showground, the chair of lobby group Farmers for Action said protests would begin within the next week.

There are around 14,000 dairy farmers in the UK, producing a record 3.3 million litres a day, and Farmers for Action (FFA) represent around a third of them.

The average cost of production of a litre of milk is just over 30p. The typical price paid is now around 28p, down from around 35p in April. More cuts are predicted.

The big milk buyers reckon there is a number of factors for this. First of all, farmers worldwide are producing more milk. And that Russian import ban has also had an impact, as have supermarket price wars.

The Chair of the NFU Dairy Board, Rob Harrison, reckons not a lot essentially can be done: "Ultimately we have a supply and demand situation, we are in free markets, and it is really really difficult to actually do anything about it."

According to independent dairy analyst Ian Potter, world demand is growing at 2.5% while growth in world production has catapulted to 5%.

He says, gravely: "We are producing twice as much as is needed - throw in to that the Russian import ban and this is an accelerating downward spiral."

Now, hands up if you've ever met a poor farmer?

4 comments

  • OldGit
    This is not going to end well. If we dont ensure that the suppliers at least cover their costs, some will go bust, supply will then be limited, and the price will rocket. And the rich farmers are the ones with large diverse farms getting EC subs. Does anyone buying 1L milk have a problem paying 32p rather than 28p (apart from Cleopatra)
  • Han S.
    To cut a long story short farmers are producing too much milk and are now whingeing that no one wants to buy it all
  • Mr M.
    There's no such thing as a poor farmer! A new 'super' dairy is being built about 10 miles from my house, why would they be bothering if there's no profit to be made.
  • Michael H.
    I think they're just milking it

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