Would you be willing to pay more for milk to help struggling dairy farmers? Here's what readers think

A leading Fylde coast dairy farmer has predicted a price hike for milk is inevitable as farmers face the challenges of rising prices for raw materials.

Tuesday, 5th April 2022, 2:16 pm
Updated Tuesday, 5th April 2022, 2:16 pm

Lytham dairy farmer Andrew Pemberton says an increase of at least 5p on a pint of milk from next month is inevitable because of soaring costs.

"For example, the price of fertiliser has gone up 300 per cent to around £1,000 a ton and the wheat-based concentrate on which we feed the cows is now costing 60 to 70 per cent more," he said.

"The rising cost of fuel is the main reason but the situation has really escalated with the war in Ukraine.

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Pint bottles of milk

"The farming industry has cut costs to try and absorb increases before but that's impossible with rises of such scale and there's nothing left to cut anyway.

"The country is paying the price for being reliant on imports for so long - we just aren't as self-sufficient as we should be.

"For what it is, milk has been so cheap for so long that people really notice if the price goes up, but it's inevitable that it will.

"We've tried to keep it down as long as we can but it will have to go up, at least 5p a pint. Besides the soaring on-farm costs, rising fuel prices mean deliveries cost us £30 to £40 a week more than they did."

Andrew Pemberton with his cattle at Birks Farm, Lytham

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Milk price rise of 50p inevitable warns leading Lancashire dairy farmer

We asked The Gazette readers if they would be willing to pay more for milk to help struggling dairy farmers – and the overwhelming response was people would if any increase went directly to farmers.

Christopher Rawlinson said: “Absolutely yes as long as any increase goes directly to the farmers who have been subsidising supermarkets and other retailers who have used milk as a loss leader for years.”

Donna Sanderson said: “As long as any increase goes directly to the farmers, then yes I would.”

Diane Withers said: “Yes, we support our local farmer, supermarkets make enough profits.”

Barry Cartmell has an environmentally friendly solution for buying his milk.

He said: “I get my milk raw from the machine at Pembertons in a re-useable glass bottle – better for the environment.”

Karen Norcross wrote: “I already pay more than supermarkets for my milk. I have it delivered in a glass bottle from a local farm. We should be nagging the government for support for our farmers.”

And Michael Rawsthorne said: “Milk is well under priced. What gets me is people will pay £2 for 500ml of [fizzy drink] and that’s fine. But they moan at four pints of milk at £1.60 ish.

“What they should do is just stick the price up £1 per pint and everyone pays that.

“I’d be more than happy to pay for all the hard work farmers put into it.”

But other local residents said the rising cost of living means many people are already struggling to cope with the cost of food.

Sue Walker wrote: “We don't have money trees in the garden.”

Pip Draig said: “Have we forgotten the 54 per cent energy hike! Rising food prices, petrol, phones. We are all suffering so the rich can continue hoarding.”

And Daniel Charlton suggested: “How’s about the supermarkets pay more to the farmers instead of putting the rise on customers.”

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