U.K. dairy producers ready to hit the streets


Dairy producers in the United Kingdom say they will start protesting low farm milk prices within the next week.  Prices paid to producers have fallen about 25 percent in the last four months. Many producers are already below the cost of production and with the 7.3 percent decline in the overall Global Dairy Trade price last week, expectations are for a further decline.

Rob Wills with British Genetics says what is really frustrating for U.K. producers is the fact that the country is a net-importer of dairy products, bringing in about 70 percent of their needs.  U.K. producers contend that since all of their production is needed domestically, they should not be so susceptible to global prices.  Wills says the problem is there are four major supermarket chains in the U.K. and they are citing the global market as justification for pushing milk prices down.  Wills says agriculture has no political clout in the U.K. leaving dairy farmers powerless against the supermarket chains.  The only alternative for dairy farmers is increased efficiency, more cows and more production per farmer.  “The big farms are getting bigger and the small farms are going out.”

Wills talks about the situation:

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