‘Resolve dispute on prices or see a shortage of milk’

January 4, 2015

Holme 4 Gardens Farm shop

DIRECT SUPPLIER: Holme For Gardens farm shop near Lulworth, run by Simon Goldsack and his team, supply milk from Craig’s Farm Dairy and has a Direct from Dorset label on it. Picture by Matthew Bell.

David Whitfield statement

MILK SHORTAGE: Is this sign a warning of what could happen if the milk prices dispute is not resolved? Picture by David Whitfield.

 

Squashed farmer

HEAVY WEIGHT: This picture was posted tongue in cheek showing the grip some supermarket chains and processors have over the industry by price. Picture by Mat Preece.

 

Plastic cow

ACT NOW: Is this what could happen if dairy industry is sacrificed? Just an image of a plastic cow promoting ice cream. If you are reading this and in a position to influence decision making, then act now. It’s not just the dairy farmer that goes but the rural knowledge that goes with them, like countryside management and maintenance. Don’t forget they are not being replaced. Picture by David Russell.

 

Neil Parish

CONTACT MADE: Former South West MEP and current MP for Tiverton and Honiton, Neil Parish, who is on the agricultural/environment parliamentary select committee, has copies of all my articles listed with your concerns that have gone through this website.

 

 

FARM shops are supplying milk that it being paid to milk suppliers at fair prices and they can find out more to support them, say campaigners.

David Goddard posted a link on the Farmers For Action page to Google a search for “Farm shops with milk”. I have acted on your suggestion, David, but have had to limit it to Dorset, Somerset and the New Forest, which my site serves.

The Pamphill Dairy Shop near Wimborne supplies fresh dairy produce as well as eggs, vegetables, fruit and groceries. It also boasts a wonderful café and on-site butcher.

They source interesting products that cannot always be found in supermarkets and also market specially produced gift hampers for any special occasion.

Simon Goldsack and his staff at Holme For Gardens Shop on the road to Lulworth oversee the management of a successful nursery, fruit farm, café, a farm shop and a wonderfully kept pond next to their café that shows their commitment to wildlife conservation. They also supply milk from Craig’s Farm Dairy and this has the Direct from Dorset label on it.

Although Lizzie and Rob Walrond of Pitney Farm Shop, near Langport, are not dairy farmers, they buy their own milk direct for sale in their farm shop. On their site they write: “We buy all our milk there as we don’t want to join in the supermarket price wars that threaten British dairy farmers and the well-being of their cows. It won Taste of Best Somerset Farm Shop back in 2009.

Ruth and Paul Kimber of Kimber’s Farm Shop of Charlton Musgrove source locally produced unpasteurised milk in one litre or two litre cartons. They also have an on-line farm shop and like Pamphill Dairy, sell hampers.

There have been some comments recently posted by farmers concerned about whether the dairy industry will go the same way as the coal miners or British car manufacturers, but as Steve Morris highlights, there would be consequences not being able to feed the country in an emergency, hence the need for food security.

He said: “A few years ago my bank manager pointed out to me that every industry in this country that has taken on the government has been made to suffer. The miners .car workers .railways, and countless others.

“Farmers took part in fuel protests a few years ago , so they gave us foot and mouth , but that only made us stronger. So now they are trying to bankrupt us . The problem is that people have to eat.”

Tim Knapman claims that allowing more of the industry to fail will lead to milk being potentially imported to this country from countries where the regulation is not as strict; not having the same cost structure and the lack of a minimum wage, in short a much inferior product consumers will be paying a much higher price for due to the costs of importing it.

He said: “This ambition to increase production of low margin or worse still loss making products is a recipe to drive milk prices to the lowest common denominator and there are many countries that dont have the cost structure that we have,low land values ,lack of min wage, pollution regulations etc.

“Growth in the dairy markets seems to be forecast in the southern hemisphere, growth in production is set to run wild in the EU .with the removal of quotas this year but no increase in demand forecast for Europe.”

Another contributor who I will not reveal for his own protection said this in view of the escalating problems, drastic action may needed to be taken to make the public understand the ramifications of this dispute not being resolved.

“Protest the way the French do. Hold back your own milk and blockade the main ports. Break the seals on lorries coming in the country and all the cargo will have to be dumped.

“The only way anyone will take any notice of the farmers is if you take more militant action. A protest outside of a supermarket warehouse is an inconvenience nothing more. You now need to create a major shortage and get nationwide media coverage.”

In my own small way, I have highlighted how consumers can support the industry by buying milk direct as possible. Other than that, ask the manager of your local supermarket branch how much they are paying for their milk – you may be surprised by their honesty.

  • FOR the record, the article I wrote featuring Jon Janner Leah’s suggestion that surplus milk be turned into freeze dried milk after it has been bought by Defra, has been put under the nose of Neil Parish, MP for Tiverton and Honiton. He was formerly MEP for the South West. I campaigned with him through my time in press for public inquiry into the Foot and Mouth outbreak of 2001 and he has currently on the parliamentary environment committee. He is a former beef farmer.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Irene Jones January 21, 2015 at 8:46 pm

Please don’t let us lose our fresh milk, we need to pay more for it and keep the farmers in business

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