Spring grass at last.
So what is happening to your milk price?
The price of milk in the next few months is going to rise sharply, that is unless the supermarkets decide to throw even more money at milk sales, in their dog eat dog, scrap with one another, the only business paying a credible price being Booths, Waitrose and M&S.
Milk price has been suppressed for some years, and although supermarkets have paid what they call cost of production, it has completely undermined the rest of the market place, that has struggled to compete. In a separate area the big coffee chains have not helped either, by using their buying power to purchase milk at unrealistic prices, and most of us are aware of the stories where milk can be bought for less than a bottle of water.
Worldwide, milk has now become short, and milk production for the UK is said to be down 4% in March with no immediate prospect of recovery. Arla, the biggest Dairy CoOp in Europe is projecting growth in milk sales of 2% a year for the next 5 years. With world supplies looking tight, massive cost increases for fertiliser, wheat and fuel, there is a perfect storm ahead.
Add to this cheese sales are strong, and the cheese makers are going to be very competitive when buying milk. Brexit has resulted in reduced imports of continental cheese, now looking more expensive, due to red tape, transport costs and with even more hold ups expected in July, as more Brexit controls kick into gear, a year and a half late. These are all chickens coming home to roost, however milk is still great value and continues to be a great complete food and should not be cheaper than a bottle of water.
The good news for local customers is the fact that in most areas, you are never too far away from a vending machine, that will dispense farm fresh milk into a glass reusable bottle, and the milk will not be homogenised. This all reduces the carbon footprint of milk and when I get a moment I will pull together a milk map so that you are all able to identify the closest vending machine, and purchase milk as you pass.