Kent farmers are struggling to provide the summer staples this year – with the cost of cream and ice cream soaring to a new high. By: Ellis Stephenson
Producers are warning that dairy farmers have had a hard time recently due to not enough quality milk being produced in the early spring.
That means the cost of your summer ice cream could leave you cold.
A producer which delivers to supermarkets across Kent has warned of the shortage.
Pensworth Dairy Company’s managing director Arthur Dunne explained how the lack of fresh grass for cows to graze on in the mid spring has meant less milk to cream off butter fat.
Pensworth Dairy Company, based in Southampton, serves Kent with around £8 million worth of dairy produce to supermarkets in the county every year.
Mr Dunne said: “I have never seen it at this level and I have been in the industry for 38 years.”
He said that the prices for cream in some sectors have increased by 100% after farmers were not able to get enough milk from their cows.
“It takes a bit of time to balance itself out and it is all down to how much the farmers are being paid because if they are being paid more they will be able to produce more,” he added.
Mr Dunne said that the effects of the dip in production will be felt throughout July, August and in to September where the market will begin to recover.
Although the farmers are the ones with the issue, it is will be the supermarkets who will decide whether the price goes up or not.
He said: “Manufacturers [of dairy] are particularly taking the brunt of it because they are not necessarily able to put their prices up.
“It has been going on since March and April and I would say around the middle of May it started accelerating really fast and then it goes down to the amount of milk produced in the spring.”
Talking about whether there will be a problem with getting the dessert treat at Christmas time he said normal stocks should be restored.
Source: Kent On line