Update on Old Winchester. Having made a lot of cheese over a year ago there will be a better availability at the beginning of next year, and ongoing plenty, just give a another couple of months.
We can’t let this month pass without commenting on the wholesale milk market.
Two years after taking on a Sainsbury’s contract Tomlinson’s in North Wales find themselves in administration.
Two years after taking on a Sainsbury’s contract Media Group who buy our surplus milk, find themselves in a slightly better position, they are NOT in administration, but their accounts posted last week, show a loss of over £7,000,000.!
How long does this insanity have to go on before the penny drops. Milk in the supermarkets is being sold at an insanely stupid price, not much more than 25 pence per pint. Fifty years ago a pint of milk, a pint of beer and a loaf of bread all sold for very roughly the same price, we are now light years away from this. As we watch the supermarkets, all slowly tear themselves apart, their comment is that the customer wants cheaper milk, this is not the case, the customer is quite happy enough, for every one to earn a living. This race to the bottom does no one any good, it drags the whole industry down. It is now quite clear the market is not functioning properly and this has to be addressed.
We then add to this, the closure of the Campbeltown Creamery, who make Mull of Kintyre cheddar, cheese having been made on this site since 1923.
The answer we are told, is that if you want to stabilise milk price and do something positive ‘Add value’ which is exactly what these guys have done over the years, bitterly disappointing to see the Scottish consumer and supermarkets abandoning them and consigning them to the history books. It is interesting to hear that the SNP, and the lovely Nicola Sturgeon, think that Scotland should be independent, not much joined up thinking here.
What does the British consumer want from our industry? Perhaps they don’t have a choice, perhaps they lamely eat what they are told to by the supermarkets, and we are all the worse off.