January 2015


Lyburn Farm from St Andrews Church

We can’t let this month go by without comment to milk price. This is a very complicated story.
It involves the Chinese, who had been hoarding thousands of tons of milk powder, and not using it, treating it as a commodity. The Russians who got very grumpy, after the EU had got very tetchy, about the Ukraine, and the Russians banned EU food imports including dairy goods. The weather that gave the EU, including the UK, some great growing conditions, a good summer, lots of milk, and milk production up by 6%. Milk quotas that are about to go in April, and the Irish and Dutch, not to mention others, who are all ramping up production, to hit the deck running. Then of course the supermarkets, who be fair are paying a better price, to their dedicated producers, but then, have set about trashing the market place with milk that is cheaper than Coke and bottled water, and this insanity completely undermines the rest of the market. The net result,’The Perfect Storm’, hundreds of milk producers are going to be driven out of business, they can’t survive on 21 pence/litre, and is that what the consumer wants? Probably not, but who cares!!!
It was 10am in the morning, The Hampshire Farmers market at Southsea was just getting going, not just any morning though. The December markets are great, great footfall, great festive atmosphere, ‘Is the milk from free range cows’ was the question. A well dressed, attractive lady had pointed the question in my direction. ‘Well they are in the summer’ was the the answer. There then ensued a long discussion, about the rights and wrongs of cows being kept indoors in the winter. It is quite strange how some, in urban society, think that a cow can be kept outside 365 days of the year, and that same, said cow, will stay clean, present itself for milking at 5am on a January, morning, having had little or nothing to eat, up to its hocks in mud,and still give a bucket of clean fresh milk.

Sorry,but Old Winchester in very short supply for about 8 weeks. We have been overwhelmed with orders through out December and need to re build our age profile. We are, as I write, extending the dairy to give us more capacity, we have plenty of milk so just hang on!!