I’m going to assume that by now everyone should be aware of the issues centering around milk prices and farmer’s pay. Be it on the news or other TV programmes, in newspapers and magazines, word of mouth or the vast variety of pictures and slogans being splashed over our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram (the number shared, by the way, is incredibly heartwarming to see). But this doesn’t mean that the message still isn’t being over-looked or under-appreciated.
You constantly see supermarkets declaring their price wars on everyday items, such as milk, yes? Have you ever wondered, really, and let’s be honest now, how having our biggest chain stores slash, slash and slash again the prices of items such as milk could effect those who actually produce?
I would say that luckily there are people who do, but really there’s no luck about it; simply, the situation has become dire. And dangerous for the dairy industry as we know it.
An excellent way (I feel) that some people have been getting the point out there is by hosting protests in the supermarkets whereby trolleys are being stacked left, right and centre with all the milk from the shelves. These trolleys are then strategically placed in the water aisles. Why? Because water is priced higher than milk. Puts things into perspective, huh?
When getting into the technicalities you may hear the term ‘farmgate’ being thrown about. Now farmgate, basically speaking of course, is usually recognised as the price of the product when it is sold by the farm. This is always going to be lower than the price you pay in the supermarkets on your weekly shop naturally, because they allow for transport, storage, profit etc. So if a supermarket wants to sell it super cheaply… well, you can see where this might lead.
Looking into DEFRA, via the Gov. website we are told that there has been a decrease in June 2015 of 1.5%/ 0.37p per litre in the UK average farmgate price to just 23.66p per litre, and a staggering 25% decrease from the June 2014 price. Pretty crazy stuff.
In the last month or so the issue has been addressed – to a certain degree of course! Asda declared that they would pay 28p per litre, Aldi and Lidl then followed with the same and Morrisons has come up with 26p per litre. Apparently none have said what they have been paying so far… I’m sure that doesn’t surprise anyone! But the protests won’t stop, I feel, because this is still below the said cost of producing milk: 30p per litre.
I’m eagerly awaiting to see where this goes and what can be done to save our diary industry, as anyone else with any connection to it will be also. In the mean time… keep spreading awareness, I’ll happily pay more for milk and I hope you would, too!
(Image from the BBC)