Alan Tovey reports in the Telegraph that Tesco is cutting the cost of four pints of milk from £1.39 to £1.00 today. Tesco joins others like Asda, Lidl and Aldi who have sold milk at this sort of price for some time now, as part of a campaign to “focus on everyday low prices on the products that matter most to our clients”. In a world where it seems nothing tastes better than low prices and there is a growing appetite for a bargain, have we lost all sense of value? Although Tesco has given an assurance that its decision to cut the price of milk will have “no impact” on the price paid to producers supplying its milk, this announcement will impact on consumer attitudes and, as a result, the future of UK dairy farmers.
I haven’t read anything about consumers complaining about milk prices being too high. Of course, no one is going to offer to pay more than is asked of them. But, if we are to secure a supply of healthy milk and dairy products for the future it is vital we instil value in what we produce. This is why I urge dairy farmers across the UK to sign up to Free Range Dairy. No one else is going to raise the value of milk. Yes, it’s true that some will ‘add value’ by processing milk. But, unless producers stand up and promote the value of the raw material that comes from British farms, milk will be consigned to being just that. Milk – a basic commodity that’s the same the world over.
We have big battle on our hands trying to retain some value in our milk when retail giants are intent on giving it away. But, we can distinguish our milk by promoting the grazing herds that most of us still operate today. This will limit the opportunity for displacingUKmilk and dairy with cheaper foreign imports and grow our dairy industry. In addition, it will ensure consumers enjoy the benefits of healthy milk from grass and safeguard the freedom for dairy cows to express natural behaviour, for generations to come.
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If you are really proud of dairy, join Free Range Dairy today.