The dairy farmers appear to be under a lot of pressure at the moment from the big milk processors who have dropped the price they pay the farmer for a litre of milk by 4 pence in the past few months.
Now I don’t know enough about the ins and outs of things to know whether farmers are being treated harshly or not as like with everything else a lot boils down to efficiency.
i.e. if the large scale milk producers can produce milk and still make a profit, why should the small farmer with 100 cows be subsidised?
As an Archers Addict I hear both sides of the story, you have Borchester Land with their plans for massive dairy units which makes the cost of milk production far cheaper than the like of Ruth and David Archer with their >200 cows.
If the milk processors base rates on the likes of Ruth and David Archer the big producers rates will rise the same, they make a fortune and the balance of share of profit between Producer, Processor, Retailer swings too far in the producers favour.
Now to me it seems the answer is that the smaller producers don’t sell to the big processors but instead sell locally, I would happily pay 10p a litre more for my milk if I knew that 10p was going to a small local dairy like David and Ruth, would I be as happy to pay 10p a litre more to support Borchester Land, No.
Now the thing is how do you Buy Local Milk?
If you have a local dairy farmer with 100 cows how can you ensure you buy their milk and can you buy milk locally like this in anyway?