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to not want to pay rock bottom prices?

(75 Posts)
dolphinsandwhales Mon 17-Mar-14 15:13:47

Disclaimer: I'm not wealthy, I'm a single mum with a job and mortgage and dc to support. However, I feel very uncomfortable when I see the likes of Tesco/ASDA advertising discounted 4 pts of milk for £1 etc. I understand they are a business, but I'd rather pay an extra 30p if that would ensure the farmer is paid a living wage, the animals get a decent standard of life. Same with fruit, veg and other food (I don't buy meat so that's not an issue to me).

I've started to only shop in 'more ethical' supermarkets like co-op and waitrose for this reason, Aibu to think it's in no ones interest for prices to be so cheap that those down the supply chain suffer?

peggyundercrackers Mon 17-Mar-14 17:27:10

i agree OP - dairy farmers are going down the tubes - instead we are fed imported milk from countries that dont play by the same rules as we do... we buy all milk from the milkman now and dont buy any from the supermarkets - i think the govt. should step in and force them to put a minimum price on it.

ScrambledeggLDCcakeBOAK Mon 17-Mar-14 17:29:32

We'll growing up next to a dairy farm (that all but folded because of the price being paid for milk) I completely agree.

I think the big companies who are producing processed products could take the hit

But British fruit/veg meat milk producers should be paid a decent price for their product.

I'm not saying I have money to burn and don't like a good price but at the same time for me I go without or have less of something to try to and buy products that mean the producers can actually live from the money they make from their produce.

HadABadDay2014 Mon 17-Mar-14 17:30:42

I tend to buy what I can afford.

I do try and get the DC the best quality ingredients I can.

MoominMammasHandbag Mon 17-Mar-14 17:33:26

Agree with Frances, battery cows are a horrid thought.

Yes, you can't beat the top of the milk (though mostly DS2 swipes it).

MoreBeta Mon 17-Mar-14 17:39:25

By and large the only way a farmer can stay in business is increase in scale and reduce quality.

The farmer's customer is the supermarket - not the shopper. If the supermarket demands milk at 17p a litre there are very few ways of delivering that and still make a profit other than automated 24/7 milking on a massive scale with strict control over input costs and maximising production out of each cow over the shortest possible time.

ScrambledeggLDCcakeBOAK Mon 17-Mar-14 17:42:36

I would like to add though that there are some families who really have to buy what they do I was one of them! (£10p/w) But there are also families who could pay the extra 30p (without any affect to themselves) but don't and those are probably the people this thread would be aimed at.

I mean really though at the end of the day it's up to every individual to choose for themselves!

My way isn't anyone else's right way!

FuckyNell Mon 17-Mar-14 17:45:04

Duchy milk from waitrose is unhomogenised

pluCaChange Mon 17-Mar-14 18:04:40

I was coming on to say what noddy did: that if farmers go out of business, supply will fall, so we risk prices rising. After all, farmers need not even go out of business altogether, but go into another business, even lease out their land!

Loads of Ukraininan farmland is being leased by the Chinese, and, according to this article, the Chinese are making a bid for our milk, too (huge population, terrible quality controls leading to the baby milk scandal, etc.). Now, considering that Chinese demand has bumped up global prices for other commodities we need (oil, metals, etc.), surely what we risk happening here, too, is that we will be competing for our milk/ grocery stables on a global stage. Apparently, milk can sell for £3/litre in China. But if this happens, we can partly blame Big Supermarkets for having driven farmers into the arms of that other market. After all, why wouldn't they embrace a new market, when the existing one has proven so low-margin?

Owllady Mon 17-Mar-14 18:37:09

The arable farmer by me is loaded but the dairy farmer is poorer than me! They work non stop for very, very little. His children go to school with mine, to the local school. He even looks poor. I have posted about this before, but their was a report (village life) that their was a vagrant hanging around daily in one of the fields and it turned out it was him

Owllady Mon 17-Mar-14 18:37:47

There, not their.

Flibbertyjibbet Mon 17-Mar-14 18:50:03

This thread has got me thinking. Our milkman charges abt £1.40 for 2 litres (4 pints = 2.2 litres btw). Which is a lot more than £1 for 2.2 litres. But I might ask him where he gets it from and if its a local farm will try it to see if its nicer. With a view to ordering at the weekends as we aren't in monday to Friday.

Kendodd Mon 17-Mar-14 18:57:26

I used to get my milk from the milkman but got a sour bottle a couple of times so I stopped. I think it was because I didn't get the 'normal' milk, I used to have organic skimmed which was not so popular. I go to the supermarket now.

Oh and BTW I do know two dairy farmers, both comfortably off. I have no problem with farmers earning a good living, they work very hard, so good for them. I do object to the bleating about how poor farmer are, I don't know a single poor farmer. Poor farm workers, yes, but poor farmer, well, I don't know any and I know quite a few farmers.

hoarseoldfrog Mon 17-Mar-14 19:13:14

Plenty of poor farmers in Cornwall.... If your farm is small, you can't expand to the huge herd size needed to make milking viable. Some members of my farming family have got out of milking and are surviving in otherjobs etc but others are in a heartbreaking position where they are working long hours seven days a week just to keep a roof over their heads. Many farmers will have large debts.
I've certainly never met a farmer whose children are privately educated... Sounds more like landowners thanfarmers

Owllady Mon 17-Mar-14 19:19:06

I am sure the statistic was that if you had less than 600 cows you would find it difficult to break even
I will have a quick Google

Owllady Mon 17-Mar-14 19:21:43

ppeatfruit Tue 18-Mar-14 10:02:10

WRF to the sad subject of suicide and farmers\farmworkers; wasn't that caused by a certain pesticide\insecticide spray which is not allowed any more? Correct me if i'm wrong.

sunshinesue Tue 18-Mar-14 10:39:00

Co-op aren't ethical, I believe their treatment of dairy farmers is worse than any other big supermarket. There was a thread about it in chat the other day (not specifically about co-op but how ethical the supermarkets are in general)

deakymom Tue 18-Mar-14 11:00:43

you can buy the foreign milk at £1 a bottle but if you can afford to shop ethically pay the extra for the british to be fair i prefer british milk but my husband drinks a lot and leaves none for the kids so i have to buy cheap dont worry they will soon put the prices up

ReallyTired Tue 18-Mar-14 11:09:24

I don't think the OP is being unreasonable at all. What do posters think of fairtrade. Ie. paying a farmer in the third world enough so that he can feed his own children and send them to school.

ppeatfruit Tue 18-Mar-14 12:04:31

ReallyTired I do pay extra for fair trade but have read and heard things that make me wonder if the workers involved ALL get fair treatment [sad hmm. I'm pleased that people are trying though it must be very difficult to check that it works as it should. (sorry i don't do links).

ppeatfruit Tue 18-Mar-14 12:05:49

I also think that small farmers (who don't get many subsidies) should be paid fairly wherever they are,

GreggsOnLegs Tue 18-Mar-14 14:24:16

I agree in principle but where do you draw the line when shopping and feeding and clothing your family ethically, when you yourself are on a low unpredictable wage?
I work in a nmw job on a zero hours contract, not knowing how many hours work I'm going to get from one week to the next.
I shop as cheaply and ethically as possible, always buy free range eggs etc. But I can't do that with everything I buy. I have to look out for myself and my own family too.

Babymamaroon Tue 18-Mar-14 16:15:18

YANBU at all. I completely agree with you. I'd rather go without than buy from sources which do not hold animal welfare in the highest regard. I am simply not that selfish to not give a monkey's how they're treated. Pay the farmer well so they in turn can look after their animals.

mollypup Tue 18-Mar-14 16:27:34

I too am concerned about the welfare of animals and the price farmers are paid.

I know people need milk more than eggs but it really gets me down when I see families/anyone buying the cheapy eggs from tesco etc purely because they're cheaper.

I have too much of a conscience for any of that.

EEatingSoupForLunch Tue 18-Mar-14 16:34:19

I'm with you OP, I buy organic milk after seeing a programme about how cows are treated. My budget is similar to yours and we don't have much meat etc. because the ethical side matters too. I shop a lot in Co-op but it is noticeably much more expensive.

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