UK Dairy Caught in the Eye of the Storm

UK - The dairy exodus has been slowed recently due to improved milk prices, but the movement has not been stopped and many believe that the current alleviation is just the calm before the storm. The real challenges still lie ahead.
calendar icon 15 April 2008
clock icon 1 minute read

"A year ago the dairy sector was losing three farmers a day," says NFU board chairman and Farmers Weekly Dairy Farmer of the Year judge Gwyn Jones. "Now that is down to about two a day. But that is still a significant number."

According to the Farmers Weekly Interactive, Mr Jones, who milks 750 cows on 1000 acres Crouchlands Farm near Billingshurt in West Sussex, is quite optimistic about price prospects for the rest of the year.

"Even though Continental values are falling, in the UK prices are continuing to rise, most recently with Tesco's 0.5p/litre increase. It comes down to supply and demand, and milk availability is really tight. Buyers dare not risk dropping price or supply will dry up even more."

The UK is less dependent on commodities than some other member states and the logistics of cross-Channel haulage provide some protection from imports. "The weak pound is also helping us enormously, as is the late, cold spring," he says.

  • View the Farmers Weekly Interactive story by clicking here.
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