Gransnet forums


The Price of Milk

(55 Posts)
rosequartz Tue 13-Jan-15 17:14:38

The price of milk in the UK is not the cost we pay in the supermarket. The price of milk will be farmers unable to sustain a living and losing their livelihood. When our dairy industry has shut down we will have to import milk from overseas.

In our search for cheaper food are we in danger of shutting down our dairy industry by frequenting those supermarkets which offer a lower and lower price to the dairy farmer?

Should there be a set price which is paid to the farmer for a staple food like this?

And how many people can honestly say, hand on heart, that they cannot afford to pay just that bit extra for milk to stop the decimation of the dairy farming industry?

and just for balance:

tanith Tue 13-Jan-15 17:20:06

I do think its madness for milk to be cheaper than water I do think farmers should get paid a reasonable price for their milk.

loopylou Tue 13-Jan-15 17:23:42

This is the reason we were driven out of farming 18 years ago, so isn't something new.
It was cheaper for us to pour milk on the fields than send it to the dairy, utter soul destroying and eventually finished us after 3 generations of farmers. When the estate owner trebled the rent in one go, that was that.

Anne58 Tue 13-Jan-15 17:27:36

I agree, also remember that often farmers cannot shop around to see who will give them the best price, as they may be in a contract.

Another way that dairy farmers might get a better deal, would be if the eating of veal became more widespread. Before anyone attacks me, I would like to point out that veal crates are no longer allowed!

The cows have ti have calves in order to produce milk, but male calves are of very little value. I would be ok with being able to buy the meat of an animal that has been raised and killed in a humane way. Quality of life is the important factor, not the length of it.

(Apologies in advance to any vegetarians)

rosequartz Tue 13-Jan-15 17:41:07

One farmer pointed out that they are paid for the milk - which is whole milk. The cream is then taken off and much of the milk is sold as skimmed or semi-skimmed. The middle man and/or the supermarket then gets a very nice profit from the cream, whilst none of the profit from the cream goes back to the farmer.

libra10 Tue 13-Jan-15 17:54:51

Farming is incredibly hard work and those who work in the industry deserve decent pay and conditions.

Buying milk in supermarkets is very cheap these days, however to support farmers I still buy milk from the milkman who has been delivering to us for over 40 years.

A pint costs 65p (much more expensive than supermarket prices), but worth the extra cost.

rubysong Tue 13-Jan-15 18:24:42

We also get our milk arrived by the milkman. It is more expensive but hopefully the farmers get a fairer price. I bought some last week from the supermarket for a coffee morning and was shocked when I saw how cheap it was.

loopylou Tue 13-Jan-15 18:44:35

I'd be surprised if the milkmen get their milk from the farmer! Would be interesting to know where the milk comes from, I bet there's a middleman or two.

janeainsworth Tue 13-Jan-15 18:53:33

Not sure it helps to buy from the milkman - I think it all comes from a central source.
I just try to always buy British yoghurt, butter and cream - Yeo usually. And Stilton and other British cheeses.
I'd be quite happy to pay more in the supermarket for milk if the money went back to the farmers and saved the UK Dairy industry.

seasider Tue 13-Jan-15 19:32:13

There is a similar Facebook campaign urging people not to buy milk from the cheaper supermarkets. If our dairy industry is destroyed all milk will be sourced abroad and the land sold off for building. Surely it is worth paying few pennies more ?

Lilygran Tue 13-Jan-15 19:34:42

Agree, jane. The supermarkets are engaged in a price war, their profits are down and they'll be coming down even harder on the growers and farmers.

Ana Tue 13-Jan-15 19:35:08

So where do we buy it from? And how do we know that the more expensive outlets aren't just lining their own pockets?

I would gladly pay more for milk, and can't really understand how it's come to this. Was there really a huge consumer demand for cheap milk? confused

loopylou Tue 13-Jan-15 19:51:25

The farmer is bottom of the heap as far as milk prices are concerned
The Guardian's article yesterday makes interesting reading

Anya Tue 13-Jan-15 19:52:57

Our milk comes from a local herd. I pay more for it, but it comes in a bottle which (IMO) makes it tasteless plastic. I'm hoping they can keep going.

i don't wholeheartedly support the notion of cheap food. It tends to mean animals are kept in poorer conditions, crops are over-sprayed and so on. I'd rather pay a bit more and eat a bit less.

loopylou Tue 13-Jan-15 19:53:07
Sorry, hit wrong button!

rosequartz Tue 13-Jan-15 19:57:00

Some outlets which give a fair price to producers ( that does not mean a good price)

rosequartz Tue 13-Jan-15 19:58:39

If supermarkets want to sell milk as a 'loss-leader' then they should bear the cost.

NfkDumpling Tue 13-Jan-15 19:59:54

We do pay the extra for organic milk. It tastes much nicer and apparently there's more vitamins etc from grass fed cows. I would be happy to have non organic milk provided it came from grass fed outdoor reared animals but there's no guarantee it isn't from cows which never get to go outdoors. You get what you pay for - but I do feel sorry for farmers who treat their animals well but aren't organic so their milk gets put in with all the rest.

NfkDumpling Tue 13-Jan-15 20:01:18

I agree Rose, the supermarkets should bear the cost.

Anya Tue 13-Jan-15 20:03:09

Agreed rose

Also Nfk if your organic milk comes from grass fed cows (not always the case) it will be rich in nutrients not found in cows fed on nuts.

Katek Tue 13-Jan-15 20:34:02

This is running until end March if anyone wants to sign.

Deedaa Tue 13-Jan-15 21:34:55

Waitrose tends to pay a reasonable price for milk because they have their own dairy farm and understand the costs involved.

janeainsworth Tue 13-Jan-15 21:37:44

Ana Here's another Guardian article explaining why you shouldn't buy milk from Morrison's, Aldi or Lidl.

Anya Tue 13-Jan-15 21:46:36

Signed Katyk

Anya Tue 13-Jan-15 21:49:32

Thanks Jane I've blitzed my Facebook page with all this information to likeminded friends.