UK dairy farmers face crisis; milk consolidation may harm transparency

Europe may witness widespread shortage of milk in the recent future as diary farmers particularly in the UK are quitting due to low prices of milk.

Statistics from DairyCo unveiled the fact that Britain imported 62,003 tonnes of cheddar during January and June, up from 48,633 tonnes in the same period of 2008.

Small farmers are leaving the milk industry, saying they have not been able to compete and pocket profit from their cows. Moreover, small farmers are showing inability in rivaling supermarket chains.

Small farmer are urging the government to save the milk industry.

Data compiled by the Royal Association of British Dairy Farmers revealed that dairy farmers in Britain are leaving the industry at an average rate of 14 per week.

Adverse conditions in the diary farming have dragged the number of milk suppliers down to 17,060, almost half in the last 10 years.

On the other hand, in US, antitrust official of Justice Department, Christine Varney, said that milk consolidation might make the dairy markets less transparent.

Large milk buyers signs contracts with the milk suppliers and prevent them to sell milk in the open market.

Speaking on the topic, Christine Varney, further added, “Competition is not very well served when you have one player in the market that controls 70 percent of the market.”

The CPI showed that the average retail price of milk dropped to its lowest level in August since 2004, signifying a bleak future for the diary farmers.

(Via TopNews United States. Contributed by Dominic Haber)