Dairy farmers in the U.K. have recently been protesting the cheap prices of milk. Supermarkets like Asda are pricing milk about 10 cents cheaper per liter than dairy companies suggest, leading to falling profits — and farmers even brought cows to a location of that chain to protest these developments. If prices are not negotiated to adequately support the farmers, the supplies of British dairy products like cheese, butter, yogurt, and ice cream could be affected.
Meurig Raymond, president of the National Farmers Union, told The Mirror that milk prices went down 30 percent this year. “I’ve been farming for 45 years and this is the worst I’ve known,” Raymond said. “[Dairy farmers] may have to make some big decisions in the next couple of months. If they exit the industry, British food may not be on the supermarket shelves in months to come.”
David Handley, chairman of Farmers For Action, told The Mirror that the problem is that the farmers are not receiving profits made from the retail sales. “We’re not asking stores to put prices up to shoppers, we’re saying there’s such a margin between the farmgate price and the retail price.” The farmers lose about 22 cents per liter of milk.
The British Retail Consortium, the organization that oversees the retail industry, commented on this issue, saying, “The retail industry pays a fair price with individual retailers using different payment models.”