The price of milk

Rowenna Davies has a justified rant about milk, oligopoly, and the urban bias of left-wing politics.

Britain’s milk industry, she points out, is dominated by three companies. Sheer size gives these the power to squeeze dairy farmers, who are locked into ungenerous contracts and have nowhere else to turn. They’ve been steadily grinding down the price of milk, forcing farmers out of business. She wants government intervention:

They could introduce a law allowing farmers to terminate a contract with three months notice (although the minister says EU rules prevent this). Or they could increase investigations and sanctions for price collusion. These measures wouldn’t block the free market; they’d empower it. Farmers could also help themselves here by starting co-operative processing chains of their own.

“I don’t think politicians realise what it’s like,” says Rob, “They should come and do a milk internship for a few weeks and see what we do here. See what it’s like to deliver a calf or get bruises or broken fingers from young heifers. The dedication we have to show.”

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