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In thinking that Morrisons are turning dairy farmers into a charity case?

(45 Posts)
merlotgran Tue 11-Aug-15 18:39:07

Surely all milk should be sold at a price that guarantees a worthwhile return to the farmer?

rosesarered Tue 11-Aug-15 18:47:43

I agree, Morrisons are experimenting with charity of customers.

Anne58 Tue 11-Aug-15 19:32:03

It's a bit confusing, but I think that some supermarkets (waitrose and the co-op come to mind, but could be wrong) already pay their suppliers at a higher rate, but don't pass on this cost increase to the customer.

Morrisons are apparently now agreeing to pay farmers a higher price, but will be passing this on, albeit giving customers an option to buy the higher priced milk and know that the farmers are getting a better price, or of course to continue buying the lower priced stuff.

The milk will be exactly the same, it is only the price that will be different.

Well put Roses, and I know that I should have clicked the link and read the piece, but the Hudl is on to charge and the upstairs computer tends to throw a hissy fit and crash if you ask too much of it at the moment!

Why don't Morrisons just do what the others do, pay more to farmers and take a drop on their cut?

thatbags Tue 11-Aug-15 19:45:10

How have supermarkets come to be paying farmers less for milk than it costs the farmers to produce it? And why do farmers carry on producing it if it's so unprofitable?

merlotgran Tue 11-Aug-15 19:45:49

What if the majority of consumers decide to back the farmers and pay the extra? Will the cheaper milk which has been produced in exactly the same way be wasted or will somebody nip round slapping 'Milk for Farmers' labels on the same bottles to ensure that it gets sold?

Why are Morrisons advertising it as a new brand? No it's not.....It's just milk and why are they calling it Milk for Farmers when it was their milk in the first place?

Sorry but I just don't trust supermarkets.

HildaW Tue 11-Aug-15 19:48:04

Basic milk in Morrisons has been very happy for them to put it up if its definitely going to the farmers.

Grannyknot Tue 11-Aug-15 19:58:49

bags it was on the telly the other night (during one of the countryside programmes) that dairy farmers are giving up in their droves, but I think it takes time from realisation to action, to implementing alternatives. I mean they'd probably want to carry on being farmers ...

thatbags Tue 11-Aug-15 20:01:30

Thanks, gknot. We don't have a telly. Perhaps I'll be able to see it on iPlayer or something.

rosesarered Tue 11-Aug-15 20:04:20

It may be that there are too many dairy farms, and some farmers would be better off trying crops or diversifying in some other way for a while.
there must be too much milk produced, for it to get to this.

MiniMouse Wed 12-Aug-15 08:29:37

On the news just now - it's just a sales gimmick by Morrisons. Who to believe, eh? confused

POGS Wed 12-Aug-15 11:10:06

Morrison's had a meeting with the Farmers Union didn't they, hence they agreed to putting the 10p to the farmers bottles on their shelves.

I think it's a bit of a shame it is seen as exploitation by Morrison's to be honest, it might have some legs to say it but at the moment I am in the 'damned if they do, damned if they don't' camp. A bit like the Horse Meat Scandal, the first supermarket to be named got it in the neck yet they were almost 'all' found to be wanting but the bad name didn't engulf them all.

I understand all the points raised but at least they have had dialogue with the Farmers and doing something to address it. I don't think 'any' of the supermarkets pay a fair price for a pint , some moderately better than others, they all need to look collectively at our dairy farming, Government, Farmers, Supermarkets.

If the sight of lorries bringing goods into this country due to French strikes hasn't caused alarm bells to clang as to our food and energy sustainability then it flipping well should.

gillybob Wed 12-Aug-15 11:47:58

I have two questions if anyone can help me please.

1) Is there such a thing as a poor farmer? Do they not still get EU subsidies etc.? in Northumberland they all seem to have range rovers and their wives seem spend their lives in the spa.

2) I buy skimmed milk. What happens to the cream etc.? Does that not sell seperately for more money?

Seriously just wondering.

Nonnie Wed 12-Aug-15 12:08:16

I think Morrisons are doing something no one else has had the guts to do. They are testing whether people will pay more to subsidise farmers. It will be interesting.

On the radio yesterday they interviews a farmers leader and someone from an organisation with a name something the Institute for Financial ...... You all know what the farmer man said but the other guy asked why farmers who are not competitive should be subsidised when other unsuccessful business are not. If you were a corner shop which was not profitable you would either diversify or go out of business.

I would be interested to know what other people on Gn think are the differences between farmers and other businesses.

Faraway43 Wed 12-Aug-15 12:08:46

Why do we have to import goods when we have our own? Can't we be self sufficient

Elegran Wed 12-Aug-15 12:29:15

How long does it take to diversify from dairy farming to some other kind of farming? How much capital does it take?

How long does it take a corner shop to diversify, and how much capital does it take?

merlotgran Wed 12-Aug-15 13:22:08

Not all dairy farmers can simply 'get out of dairy'. Grazing land is not necessarily fit for arable farming and farm workers have different skills.

Is there any such thing as a poor farmer?....Just imagine how much their assets are tied up in the farm/stock/land management/staff/buildings/machinery/seed/feed etc., etc.

It's the only industry where you might invest a great deal of money not knowing what your return is going to be if you get one at all.

It's not always possible to access farmland in a Ford Fiesta. That's why I drive a 4x4.

I'd rather see a farmer driving a 4x4 than a yummy mummy delivering her child to school.

HildaW Wed 12-Aug-15 13:28:10

What a farmer produces depends very much on the area of the country they live in, the type of farm and their own expertise. Its a bit like saying an electrician can suddenly become a hairdresser over night if he chooses.

The old understanding of all farmers being wealthy is way off nowadays. On a simple level if it costs more to produce a crop/product than you can earn from it you will eventually go out of business....I do not know of anyone who is happy to work for less than they earn their employer.
A farmer may own his land.....but if it cannot produce a profitable product it is pretty much worthless....who would buy it off him/her?

gillybob Wed 12-Aug-15 13:37:39

Oh sorry merlotgran didn't mean to upset anyone. Just speaking as I see/find.

I can appreciate their assets are tied up etc. but so are many businesses. We are in engineering and the bank own our house, machinery etc. Likwise our assets are our staff. Sadly we do not own any land or buildings as we rent our factory. We also have to pay in full for all of the fuel we use for machinery and vehicles. We would never get a subsidy from the EU.

I think virtually all businesses/industry is set up on the basis of "not knowing what your return is going to be......".

No-one mentioned a Ford Fiesta. That would be silly. My DDiL drives a 4x4 as she works with horses and tows a massive horsebox around. I know only too well how bumpy ground can affect a 2 wheel drive car . Range Rovers are (I believe) a very expensive luxury.

I don't know any yummy mummys who deliver their children to school so couldn't possibly comment.

I do "know" quite a few farmers wives who use spa's though. grin

Nonnie Wed 12-Aug-15 13:38:46

Sorry Elegran I didn't express it very well. He talked about all sorts of businesses not just corner shops. I suppose you could compare with an engineering company just as easily.

gillybob Wed 12-Aug-15 13:47:19

Also does anyone know if the price for the milk we buy is taking into account the cream/butter etc. that is sold seperately (and very expensively) is that not the way they make the money up??

ignorance is bliss

Elegran Wed 12-Aug-15 14:27:05

I think the farmers sell the whole "crop" which is driven off by the wholesalers in huge tankers and then separated at the creamery into cream, skimmed etc. What they are paid for is the milk as it leaves the cow, they don't sell the cream at more than the milk.

Elegran Wed 12-Aug-15 14:27:51

I don't think many farmers actually make butter any more.

gillybob Wed 12-Aug-15 14:50:36

Well someone must make butter Elegran I eat plenty of it [yummy emoticon]

So........ the farmer sells the whole milk and then it is separated into cream etc.

We only use fully skimmed milk which is virtually water. So someone somewhere must be profiteering on the cream.

[even more confused then before]

HildaW Wed 12-Aug-15 14:59:03

Farmers sell the milk as the end product of their labours....what happens to it depends on who is buying it.....and its they (the buyers) that set the price and make the profit!

granjura Wed 12-Aug-15 15:15:59

In many ways, it seems hypocritical to blame the supermarkets- the supermarkets sell milk very cheaply because that is what, WE, THE CUSTOMERS WANT and expect, and choose supermarkets accordingly.