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To think the retailers can't have it both ways - Milk Prices

(64 Posts)
DadfromUncle Tue 04-Aug-15 22:32:29

Extensively reported today is the PR parrot line that "retail prices have nothing to do with what is paid to farmers" - and also that retailers pay a fair price. So which is it?

Once they have driven all the farmers out of business I assume we'll air-freight all our milk from Russia or something?

Chchchchanging Tue 04-Aug-15 22:49:22

You need to ask why milk retails at such low prices- how many threads have there been Onhere about milk only 89p at Aldi etc
Britishilk is good quality
Without it we will be importing from Europe
People pay more for bottled water ffs
Buy from where ethically pays or where prices are consistent ie m&s wait rose Sainsburys or tesco

ShiftyFades Tue 04-Aug-15 22:51:40

Buy organic, it's more expensive so presumably the farmer gets more? (Can anyone confirm please?)

Chchchchanging Tue 04-Aug-15 22:55:13

It doesn't work like that- it costs them more to produce
(Country girl!!)

madamginger Tue 04-Aug-15 22:57:07

The problem is the big dairies like dairycrest monopolising the market and pushing prices down. Even if you use a milkman you will still be buying from dairycrest.

youareallbonkers Tue 04-Aug-15 22:58:14

So don't buy it. How much milk are you using that this is going to make a difference?

WoonerismSpit Tue 04-Aug-15 22:59:35

I get my milk from the milkman. A fact which horrifies my DF, for some odd reason.

Chchchchanging Tue 04-Aug-15 23:07:17

The issue is supply chain so if you're a farmer whoever is your supply chain manager is who effectively controls your prices eg big dairy 1 collects and distributes your milk
Fall out with them on prices = milk not collected, = milk thrown away and no payment, or accept lower payment price and cut losses
The better retailers mentioned have their own suplt chain routes who have view on prices

LittleBearPad Tue 04-Aug-15 23:10:04

Choose your supermarket. Waitrose, M&S and Sainsburys are better than Asda, Morrisons and Tescos.

DadfromUncle Tue 04-Aug-15 23:25:54

Well, speaking personally, if global capital destroys dairy farming in the UK I think it will be very sad and exceptionally stupid.

We seem to be getting told all this stuff is inevitable, but it is nuts that we seem to have created a setup where it's not possible to make a profit from producing milk in the UK - that's the economics of the madhouse.

Maybe I'm just an old fossil, but I long for the time before it was even possible to get this stuff from anywhere else - we should be aiming to produce more food locally, not less.

Interestingly (and ex laughs at me) I think I can tell (taste) the difference in a lot of the food and drink in Ireland - because more of it is produced locally.

amarmai Wed 05-Aug-15 02:07:58

too much milk is being produced in North America and it's being dumped. The price is not going down tho. Like diamonds -artificially being kept high.

ARealPipperoo Wed 05-Aug-15 07:20:49

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

LokiBear Wed 05-Aug-15 07:27:28

I'd welcome a list too. I'd happily pay a bit more to ensure the farmers are treated fairly.

mollie123 Wed 05-Aug-15 07:29:18

the farmers are having a hard time - I live rurally and there is very little grass in some fields because of the much vaunted hot dry weather since about March.
I am sure most consumers would be happy to pay more for their milk as it is one of the essentials on most families shopping list - something has to give and that is the middlemen who are grinding down their costs so they can 'compete' with each other and have a captive 'dairy farmer' supply at low prices.

mollie123 Wed 05-Aug-15 07:42:14

on 1st April this year (not a joke) shock

EU milk quotas have been scrapped after more than three decades of efforts to prevent overproduction.

The system, set up in 1984, is ending so EU dairy businesses can compete with international rivals in supplying fast-growing markets in Asia and Africa.

The Irish Republic, the Netherlands and Germany are all expected to increase production sharply. But UK farmers have said it could lead to further falls in the price they receive for their milk.

Superexcited Wed 05-Aug-15 07:53:17

I've been saying for a long time that milk is just too cheap. I would happily pay 70p a pint if it meant that the farmers could be paid a decent price and the welfare of the cows could be better assured. But whenever I say this on here I get people telling me that they need to buy 30 pints of milk every week and higher prices will have a severe impact on their household budgets so they want it to stay as cheap as possible.
I really wish we had a farm shop nearby where I could buy milk.
If we don't pay a decent price for milk the dairy farmers will go out of business and we will end up importing milk which we won't be able to guarantee the quality of.

sandgrown Wed 05-Aug-15 07:54:01

If we lose our dairy farms we will not only lose the good quality locally produced milk from cows who are well cared for. We will also see the farmland being lost to building. Surely it is worth paying a few pence more to support the industry.

Trapper Wed 05-Aug-15 08:52:01

I struggle to understand the obsession with milk prices and why we have such a rise-tinted view of dairy farming in the UK.
We have been wrangling about this issue since before the milk marketing board came in and we don't seem to have run out of Milk in the UK yet...

whatarethose Wed 05-Aug-15 08:56:45

I can't be certain that cows and farmers aren't abused in this country so I just don't buy milk. Can't have it on my conscience.

NoArmaniNoPunani Wed 05-Aug-15 08:57:40

If there were 2 options on the shelf, a standard and a fair trade option, I'd happily pay more for fair trade.

aprilanne Wed 05-Aug-15 08:58:36

milk is far to cheap .but the quality is really rubbish as well .you have to buy jersey milk to get the good stuff with the cream on top .its about 1.20 a pint but jings is lovely to drink .

Jux Wed 05-Aug-15 09:03:46

We get our milk from our butcher, who gets it from two local dairies who get local milk from the local farmers. It costs a bit more than in the supermarket, but not a lot more. For preference, we get the milk from the smaller dairy if there is any - it runs out quicker (because they are smaller).
We hope we are helping.

LazyLouLou Wed 05-Aug-15 09:11:09

That's a bit disingenuous, Trapper.

The current problem is that the farmers are being paid less for the milk than it costs them to produce.

It seems mad to me. We have had numerous campaigns designed to induce us to buy local, buy British yet this is simultaneously being made harder to do because any protections are being taken away.

Usually this is met by "Yes, farmers, rich bastards. If they can't afford it, blah blah" But the wider picture includes farmers, hauliers, bottle manufacturers, bottling plants, more hauliers, and on.

And what will happen to the farms? Don't they'll build houses on it as you wouldn't want to live there... not transport links and it is highly unlikely that any developer would build a nice road, dual carriageway etc with each development.

The reality is that those at the bottom of the supply chain, those who the supply chain relies upon, are being squeezed out of existence. Once we lose them they will be gone forever.

There is only so much cheese the dairy industry can switch to. We need to support dairy farmers and insist on our MPs lobbying for a reasonable piece to be paid. We, the consumer, need to reclaim our voice here, if we believe that the farmer should be paid a fair price. Supermarkets insist that we shop with them because, in part, of milk prices. Just as they insist we have all screamed for perfectly round apples etc. Well, I know I have never asked for any of that. Have you? No, of course not. Supermarkets justify themselves by blaming us. We need to shout, lobby and vote with our feet.

Of course if cheap is your only criteria, you need to consider the wider ramifications. When we are reliant on foreign produce the price may well shoot up when the global market stabilises.

Meanwhile, in the USA

treaclesoda Wed 05-Aug-15 09:11:17

This thread got me thinking. I'm in rural N Ireland, dairy farming is all around me. Yet the one big dairy seems to have an absolute monopoly on milk production. Even in our local posh farm shop with it's ethically produced meat straight from the farm, the milk on sale is the same as in the supermarkets. And it really does seem to be a monopoly - Spar, Tesco, Supervalu, M&S, everyone really, if you read the small print, they are produced in the same factory.

I don't know how I could possibly, as a consumer, actually help the dairy farmers. Does anyone know is there a more fair trade way to buy milk?

WorktoLive Wed 05-Aug-15 09:12:17

Agree that some supermarkets are less bad than others. However there is a lot of confusion out there. Someone upthread says that Tesco are one of the bad guys but I have seen lists where they pay one of the highest prices, which I was surprised by.

Also, the Co-op never seem to feature on lists of who pays what. I would hope that they pay a fair price but have never seen evidence.

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