In a week that has left dairy farmers feeling that their milk is worthless, my mood was not helped by this summer offer in Sainsburys. It seems that cream is so cheap that it is now being given away by retailers, in an attempt to bolster strawberry sales. Despite high hopes for British tennis, the recent weather has perhaps dampened our appetite for seasonal fruit.
We are told that the recent milk price cuts are due, in no small part, to a significant fall in the price of cream – so significant that it is now available for nothing in Sainsburys! Now, I don’t quite get this. Someone somewhere had to produce the milk to make that cream, someone had to pasteurise it and put it in a pot and yet when it reaches the supermarket shelf, it is simply given away.
This leads me to think that, rather than going to all the trouble of getting our milk and dairy products processed and delivered to a large retailer, for them to give it away, we just invite the public to come to our farms and collect milk for free. Okay, farmers wouldn’t make any more money than they do today, but at least they wouldn’t be working seven days a week to produce cheap (free in this case) gimmicks for retailers to profit from. This might be a better option than the mass dumping of milk that some farmers are now calling for. This way, we might get the opportunity to talk to consumers about the current state of affairs and win some badly needed support.