Surrey, KT10 9PN
Dear Mr Sheldon,
I was very sorry to hear that Dairy Crest is dropping its standard liquid agreement milk price by 1.65p per litre from 1 August 2012, leaving farmers with 24.92 per litre.
I read that milk retailers blame the price cuts on “market forces”, which doesn’t make sense to me.
Customers have been used to low prices because of competition, but this can’t be sustained in the long term if it forces farmers out of business and we come to rely on cheap imported milk and milk products from countries that have lower welfare standards and pay lower wages. I would rather that we continued to support British farmers, for all sorts of reasons.
British consumers are paying 99p per litre for Coca-Cola, which has no nutritional value; they should be educated to expect to pay a realistic price for milk, which does.
In my youth I worked on dairy farms and know how much time and effort goes into a doorstep pinta. I fully support the NFU and Farmers’ Weekly milk prices campaign. I’m informed that Kite consultants estimate the average break even cost to produce milk on farm is 29.3 pence per litre. Over the last year, cost pressures on farmers, such fresh calved heifer replacements (+14.7%), fresh calved cows (+29.8%), Soya (+15%), maize gluten (+11.9%) (Source Dairy Co April 2011 vs April 2012), have contributed to significantly increase their costs to produce milk, and they’ve also had to cope with the consequences of the bad weather.
I currently have organic semi-skimmed milk delivered in glass bottles (avoiding plastic) via Milk & More, so I’m already paying more than a majority of customers but would be willing to pay whatever is fair to the farmers who produce it. Incidentally, where does my milk come from?
I urge you to reverse the decision to cut milk prices and to pay farmers a sustainable rate.
Yours sincerely, etc.
Click here to read about the NFU's campaign
Click here to read more at Farmers' Weekly