The price of milk in the UK is a national disgrace. The idea that the price we are willing to pay for milk is lower than bottled water and fizzy drinks is utterly shocking. I feel so sorry for the dairy farmers who have no alternative but to either hang on in there losing money or go out of the family business.
I’m generally in favour of free trade and competition but sometimes you have to make an exception. As I outlined in my previous blog, in my opinion, the absolute basics of life should never be ruled by market economics. The moment we lose the ability to feed, clothe and shelter our population (produce the products rather than just sell them) we are no longer in control of our own destiny.
I don’t want to believe that we are demanding as consumers that we get milk at this price. I don’t believe that we are happy to buy imported milk over milk produced by our own farmers. For milk read eggs, bread, fuel, water supply, and many other basics. At least give me a choice. I’d love to see British milk at an agreed “living milk price” and be assured that the margin was going back to the producers.
In the medium term we need to deal with the oversupply – I don’t want to return to the Euro-lakes and -mountains – but in the short term we need our farmers to survive. This should be an area for Government planning and policy to ensure long term supply of energy, food and housing in the same way they worry about defence and the economy.