UK – Around half of Britain’s dairy farmers could be scheduled to leave the sector, a recent industry survey has revealed.
According to the insights of the Royal Association of British Dairy, significant numbers of farmers are planning on quitting due to low milk prices, lack of support from banks, long hours for low returns and having no successor.
This could leave Britain with only 5,000 dairy farms in six months, the Association has warned.
A further 45 per cent of farms were putting expansion plans on hold, mainly due to a “lack of surplus cash”.
The survey of around 200 farmers concluded that producers with all year calving herds and a level profile contract planned to leave, whereas aligned or low costs production systems were considered more sustainable.
RABDF chairman, Mike King, said 434 dairy farmers had quit in the past year following £1 billion being wiped off farmgate incomes.
He suggested farmer intentions, if realised, could leave British consumers short of liquid milk and dairy produce.
“These price trends are multifactorial; we have to accept commodity volatility in the global marketplace and other influences out of our control and factor them into our long term business plans,” said Mr King.
“However, supermarket discounting has also been among the key price influences. Whilst we welcome the support for liquid milk that some supermarkets have demonstrated in the last few weeks, we continue to urge all retailers to pay all farmers a fair price for milk for processing – one which covers cost of production and leaves sufficient for investment purposes.”
TheCattleSite News Desk