Poor Outlook Looks Set To Thin The Herd

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According to a recent survey carried out by Royal Association of British Dairy Farmers (RABDF), almost half of Britain’s dairy farmers are looking to leave the sector. Of the remaining farmers, 45% have had to put on hold their expansion plans.

49% of dairy farmers see no future for themselves in the sector, with the milk prices continually low for the past 12 months, and no visible rise on the horizon. It would leave approximately 5,000 dairy farms, of which half do not have the confidence to invest moving forward. It could soon see the end of the industry.

The main reasons for looking to quit ranged from long hours for very little return and banks  unwillingness to give further assistance, to not having a successor to carry on the family business. For those who have shelved their plans for expansion, the simple reason was lack of surplus cash.

RABDF vice chairman Mike King says that “supermarket discounting has been among the key influences”, but added that they “continue to urge all retailers to pay all farmers a fair price for milk for processing – one which covers cost of production and leaves sufficient for investment purposes.”

Please note: This article is a commentary on general principles and should not be interpreted as advice for your specific situation.

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