The price of milk

The price of milk

16 January, 2015. Patrick Holden

I have recently been listening to the bad news about the price of milk while actually milking cows, as my herdsman took a break over Christmas and the New Year. Experiencing at first hand the economic impact of the climate in which dairy farmers are operating gives the issue a whole different meaning.

It seems to me that nothing could better illustrate the institutionalised madness that prevails in the world of globalised, industrialised, commodity-style food production than its impact on the price of milk and dairy farmers in Britain.

As with so many matters connected with food, the root of the problem lies in the distorted economic system. I’ve just been down to my local Tesco store in Bristol, which, along with most of the major British supermarkets, is now selling milk very cheaply, in this case four pints of conventional whole milk for 89 pence (£0.89). Apologies for dancing between pints and litres, but four pints of milk is 2.27 litres, so divide that into 89 pence and you get just over 39.2 pence (£0.392) per litre. This is theoretically the total amount of money that has to be divided between the farmer, processor and retailer. Read more

erious over-supply of the milk market.

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