Having read the papers today it appears that more than 1000 farmers were not paid for their milk yesterday after a crash in prices plunged the industry into crisis. The biggest dairy co-operative First Milk delayed payments to its 1300 farmer members by a fortnight and cut the price it pays them. Campaigners have warned that this is the worst crisis the industry has ever seen with little sign of matters improving.
Global milk prices have plummeted in recent months meaning some british farmers now receive as little as 11.4p a pint (20p a litre) - well below the average 15.9p a pint (28p a litre) that it costs to produce. A year ago farmers were receiving around 19.2p a pint. Apparently the amount paid to farmers is now at its lowest level for eight years.
More than 60 dairy farmers are now going out of business every month according to the national Farmers union (NFU)
Farmers have condemned supermarkets for cutting prices even further, Asda, Aldi, lidl and Iceland are selling four pints for 89p whilst Tesco, Sainsbury and Waitrose are not far behind at £1 for four pints, farmers say that selling milk more cheaply than mineral water is devaluing the product.
The NFU say that retailers are fighting over market share and are driving farmers out of business and that if things continue as they are, there will be very few dairy farmers left in 6 months time.
Personally, I am very happy to support farmers and pay more for milk, 89p - £1 for four pints is almost ridiculously cheap!... If this trend continues we could end up importing milk as British dairy farmers go to the wall, if that happens one thing is certain, milk will then be a damn sight more expensive for us all.
This by the way, this is in total contrast to how I feel about the falling price of fuel which has always been ridiculously expensive in this country, though a massive part of the retail price is vastly inflated by the breathtakingly high tax (70% of the total price) slapped onto it by successively greedy British governments.... We now just need the Power companies to stop making excuses and pass on their savings instead of cashing in and boosting profits even further... This is unlikely to happen though so it looks like we will be left with the incompetent and toothless regulator to do something about it!