Dairy farmers selling milk for less than it costs to produce How does that work?

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  • Dairy farmers selling milk for less than it costs to produce How does that work?
  • Premier Icon dannybgoode
    Subscriber

    Massive EU subsidies…

    EDIT Link – good article on BBC site here. We are talking billions.

    piemonster
    Member

    Why do they still do it ?

    It’s their way of life, often handed down through families

    project
    Member

    Would you want your local farmer wearing dirty welies and a cow past stained overall , greasy skin and a certain smell of animals , working in your local hospital as a nurse.

    They get massive subsidies for evertything from not cutting or ploughing fields, to cutting hedges, to planting rape seed,grain etc etc. whichh subsiies their income.

    You rarely see a farmer without a new tractor.

    Premier Icon ahwiles
    Subscriber

    as danny says, subsidies.

    it’s a bit like this: farmers are paid by the EU to jump through hoops.

    actually selling their produce only brings in a few quid.

    the price of food is kept low through taxes and subsidies, i can’t decide if this is a good thing, or not…

    Junkyard
    Member

    Its nature innit 😉

    If they are living on subsidies, then why are they still complaining ?
    Being dole scum is better than working for the same money.

    Premier Icon scotroutes
    Subscriber

    wrote:

    If they are living on subsidies, then why are they still complaining ?

    junkyard wrote:

    Its nature innit

    My 1st Father in Law was a farmer and he used to moan about farmers moaning. If it was a bad year for the crops, it affected pretty much everyone so the price went up across the board and the farmers didn’t lose out. If it was a good year and yields were high, the price went down and they’d whinge they weren’t getting as much as the previous year.

    Premier Icon geoffj
    Subscriber

    It also depends what they class as a profit.
    Pay yourself £100k per year and put it through the business as a cost and the business can run at a loss.
    But, you can still afford your new range rover / hunters / get orf my land signs out of your personal money.

    Premier Icon ahwiles
    Subscriber

    MidlandTrailquestsGraham – Member

    If they are living on subsidies, then why are they still complaining ?

    partly because farmers like to complain, and partly because farmers like working for a living – but now they’re just getting paid to fill in paperwork.

    farming has been turned into a desk job.

    project
    Member

    farming has been turned into a desk job.

    they employ farm managers who may well not know one end of a cow to another, like a lot of mangers in different jobs.

    b r
    Member

    Lots of ‘farmers’ have a milk quota, but don’t actually produce any milk (retired etc) – so can then sell on the quota to someone who wants to produce milk…

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Milk_quota

    and then there are the ‘middle-men’:

    http://www.webbpaton.co.uk/Whatwedo/Milkquota.aspx

    Premier Icon scotroutes
    Subscriber

    project wrote:

    farming has been turned into a desk job.
    they employ farm managers who may well not know one end of a cow to another, like a lot of mangers in different jobs.

    It’s true – many farms have mangers.

    I’ve heard them complaining about it for years, yet they are still doing it.
    So why aren’t they all broke by now ?
    Why do they still do it ?
    Where do they get their money from ?

    Premier Icon bigjim
    Subscriber

    my mates a farmer, he says he puts one potato in the ground and gets 12 back a few months later, you do the maths.

    Premier Icon mikewsmith
    Subscriber

    Subsidy has distorted the market, for every range rover owning farmer there are plenty without. For those who are tenant farmers getting out would leave them unemployed and homeless, for those who own the land (normally having farmed it for generations) it’s a tough call.

    I’ve seen plenty of dairy farmers get out of dairy and into other things, in the end of the day do we want a milk industry? We could probably just get it all imported (well it would be that vial Long life stuff really)

    If they leave the land what then happens to it? Houses, industrial estates? you can kiss goodbye to a nice walk along a FP as it now runs between 2 tesco warehouses.

    Most people seem to think all farming is the same, comparing the big arable operations in the east to the small farmers in the hills. There are some big challenges out there for the farming industry and the country as to what it sees as important. UK Produced has traceability, quality, welfare standards and freshness on it’s side along with supporting land management and a local production set-up (butchers, Dairies, abattoirs, wholesalers etc.) so the employment chain is long. If everything we want to eat comes off a boat then we lose a lot of control over what it is, how it was produced and what is costs.

    Premier Icon grtdkad
    Subscriber

    If everything we want to eat comes off a boat then we lose a lot of control over what it is

    … Nay!

    IGMC 🙄

    gordimhor
    Member

    The price a farmer gets for milk is at a high but this doesn’t allow for inflation. The real price is about the same as 1992. According to dairyco.

    Pigface
    Member

    Not all farmers sell their milk at a loss, it depends who they have a contract with. Muller used to pay a good premium but some farmers signed up with producers that went bust or were promising what they couldnt deliver. Since the MMB went a long time ago it has been a bit of a lottery.

    Farmining isnt easy and the costs are huge, investment in machiney parlour livestock etc can be massive.

    You have good farmers and bad farmers, I went to a dairy farm a few years ago that was like something out of a fantasy, milking 350 cows and making huge profits. Also seen the other side where a bloke was milking 22 cows and was a part time post man. He was going to sell up and that land will no doubt be come part of the Swindon blight.

    Premier Icon martymac
    Subscriber

    my grandad told me that when his dad died in 1958 he made about £1 for every hour worked, fast forward 40 years, and he still made about £1 for every hour worked.
    he survived by selling off a field to housing developers every so often, just enough to keep the roof over his head.
    he died aged 92, having worked the farm since age 14, and owned it since age 40, he couldnt afford a range rover, or a brand new tractor etc.
    theres more than one type of farmer.

    b r
    Member

    my grandad told me that when his dad died in 1958 he made about £1 for every hour worked, fast forward 40 years, and he still made about £1 for every hour worked.

    Not just farming, my kids are starting work on the same kinda money that I earned when starting out.

    shifter
    Member

    My uncle George often said “you’ll never see a farmer on a bike”.

    Ok, which one of you guys is Alan Partridge?

    I would happily pay a little extra on a pint of milk if I knew it was going to the farmer, not Johnny bloody Sainsbury’s favourite shareholder.
    Incidentally, I read somewhere that Co op, which I believe used to be short for and mean Co operative, with all there fair trade guff and posturing actually pay the UK farmer less for their milk than anyone else does.

    Premier Icon Rio
    Subscriber

    I would happily pay a little extra on a pint of milk if I knew it was going to the farmer, not Johnny bloody Sainsbury’s favourite shareholder.

    I believe the supermarkets are actually relatively generous, but if you don’t have a supermarket contract you pay the price set by the processors, hence the farmers protesting outside Arla and Muller-Wiseman plants earlier in the year.

    Madfly
    Member

    Couldn’t resist. Sorry.

    [video]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_pDTiFkXgEE[/video]

    LHS
    Member

    Subsides to keep a product that really shouldn’t be part of human consumption artifically low and pumped full of all sorts of hormones which contributes to the global obesity problem whilst keeping cows in below standard conditions.

    Simples.

    Premier Icon mikewsmith
    Subscriber

    wrote:

    Subsides to keep a product that really shouldn’t be part of human consumption artifically low and pumped full of all sorts of hormones which contributes to the global obesity problem whilst keeping cows in below standard conditions.
    Simples.

    Are you talking about UK produce here?
    Thankfully the human condition allows me to decide what I consume not just stick to prehistoric diets.

    LHS
    Member

    All milk produced world-wide.

    Humans aren’t predispositioned to consume the quantities of milk that we do. We certainly aren’t predispositioned to be drinking milk from cows that are kept permanently pregnant. And we almost certainly aren’t predispositioned to be drinking milk from cows which are pumped full of anti-biotics.

    Premier Icon zilog6128
    Subscriber

    I do agree with LHS in a way – I like the odd glass of milk but it is a bit of a strange thing to consume when you think about it (especially as a staple food like some people treat it). But then I also think it’s a bit odd that some people like to flavour their soup with a bit of a shark. There are many other examples. I guess humans are all just a bit odd! 😆

    EDIT: also all this talk of subsidies seems a bit strange. Didn’t realise that was how the culture of farming was nowadays. That also seems a bit odd!

    Premier Icon mikewsmith
    Subscriber

    which are pumped full of anti-biotics.

    Care to clarify how much pumped full is? also the amount of time that milk is not entered into the food chain post medicine?

    I assume from your posts your Vegan and don’t have much to do with farming.

    nacho
    Member

    I thought all non organic cows (and other animals) were generally given anti biotics to combat disease and hormones to make them grow as standard- we then ingest these in our milk (or meat)
    I drink milk but not much and eat meat also not much as I can’t afford it – we buy organic or at least from local farmers who can tell us what they feed their animals on (but we are lucky to live in the country) Try researching what happens to meat before you eat it (or drink milk from a cow) some of it is frightening
    http://www.fitday.com/fitness-articles/nutrition/healthy-eating/the-difference-between-non-organic-and-organic-meat.html

    Food, how it is processed and what we eat is a growing concern to many people

    LHS
    Member

    I assume from your posts your Vegan and don’t have much to do with farming.

    I keep dairy in-take to a minimum. I certainly don’t drink dairy milk. I grew up in a dairy farming community, not that that matters.

    I’m not going to get preachy on it, its a personal choice thing so i will leave it there.

    LHS
    Member

    Food, how it is processed and what we eat is a growing concern to many people

    Agreed, the main rule we work to in the LHS household is that we don’t eat any processed food.

    Premier Icon cinnamon_girl
    Subscriber

    LHS – genuinely interested to hear more particularly as you’re from a dairy farming community.

    torsoinalake
    Member

    That fitday link is full of fail.

    From Defra’s guidelines on organic farming (https://www.gov.uk/converting-to-organic-farming#how-organic-farming-is-different-to-non-organic-farming):

    “Although you must avoid giving medicines such as antibiotics, wormers and vaccines to animals on an organic holding, some products are allowed on farms where there is a recognised problem or health risk. However, where medication has become necessary constraints will apply to the sale of meat or other products from that animal for a prescribed period during which you are not permitted to sell such meat as ‘organic’.”

    And the use of growth hormones is banned in the EU, but we’ve done all this before I think.

    Premier Icon teamhurtmore
    Subscriber

    My understanding is the whole subsidy/quota arrangement will cease in 2015. Prices have been volatile but farmers margins have been remarkably consistent over the past 12-14 years. The processers have been the main losers and the retailers the main gainers. So the people complaining the most should be the processors?

    I still love a nice cold glass of milk. My main recovery drink now that I have stopped all the proceesed sports gunk that I used to drink!!!

    LHS
    Member

    And the use of growth hormones is banned in the EU, but we’ve done all this before I think

    Agreed, but the cows are kept as close to permanently pregnant as possible and therefore what you are drinking is milk with naturally high level of hormones in them.

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Subscriber

    Be very careful reading scare stories on the internet about food. Most of them are American, which has two problems.

    1) American farming is much more intensive and less well regulated then UK or EU farming, afaik. I don’t think growth hormones are legal in the EU (please correct me). Also most of the criticisms seem to be aimed at intensive beef farming which I certainly have never seen in the UK. The farms are enormous stadium sized sheds rammed with cows surrounded by mud – no grass in sight. And they stink unbelievably.

    2) American media is insane. They scream at the top of their lungs to compete for readers with shock stories, and they often do not care about the truth when doing so.

    milk with naturally high level of hormones in them

    Which hormones?

    LHS
    Member

    Progesterone
    Estrogen

    Scare stories in the US aren’t actually that prominant, it is more in the EU in my experience. The US is heavily influenced by the dairy farmers organisations who are very quick to suppress any links of dairy products to obesity and more importantly cancer.

    Premier Icon cinnamon_girl
    Subscriber

    Hence the increase in autoimmune conditions.

    konabunny
    Member

    The other side of subsidies is that while the EU pays farmers not to farm, the same system also stops farmers in developing countries who can produce their stuff cheaply selling it to us cheaply. So it’s paying more to pay more, and lock out rural development in poor countries while encouraging rural to urban migration. Nuts!

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