Dairy producers in Somerset have said they are struggling to survive as rising costs have slashed profits.
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Lindsey Isgar said she made just 0.5p profit per litre of milk sold in March

The cost of fertiliser, fuel and feed has surged due to supply chain issues caused partly by the war in Ukraine.

“Currently we make just 0.5p profit per litre of milk, if it wasn’t for unpaid family labour we couldn’t stay afloat,” Lindsey Isgar, from Barrow Gurney said.

A dairy farmers’ association said costs were rising faster than milk prices and it was time to redress the balance.

The Royal Association of British Dairy Farmers (RABDF) said it expected to see costs increase further on dairy farms.

Milk’s value ‘underestimated’

“As a result, it will be necessary to see the milk price rise too to give farmers the confidence and ability to continue to produce milk and uphold the high levels of animal health and welfare the UK dairy industry is famed for,” the RABDF said in a statement.

“The value of milk is underestimated by the vast majority of consumers, both in monetary and nutritional terms.

“We feel it is time milk and dairy products are valued correctly.

“Now, more than ever, we must value our food security and support British farmers and growers,” it added.

‘We’re gambling’

Ms Isgar said because of seasonal variations in the overall supply of milk, she expected her dairy farm to lose money next month as prices dropped.

“Ours is a long-term business, it takes two years before calves enter the milking herd and we just feel like we’re gambling in the current climate.

“Who would think that with milk prices heading to 40p a litre we’d be struggling?

“I try to remain positive about the industry but there’s a lot of people leaving.”

Rich Field
Cheese producer Richard Clothier has seen his costs rise by £2m per month


Elsewhere in the dairy industry, cheesemakers are also feeling the pressure.

Cheese producer Richard Clothier, director of Wyke Farms in Bruton, said he had spent a year “battling” with supermarkets, asking them to increase their prices.

The price of the milk he purchases has risen from 28p/litre in 2021 to 40p/litre currently.

“Our costs across the business have gone up by £2m a month since last year,” he said.

“We need to have serious conversations with our retailers to ask them to pass these costs on, there’s no way any business can shoulder them alone,” he added.

Dairy farmers in the San Joaquin Valley are working to overcome the impacts of substantial flooding. Last week’s storms have left broad swaths of Tulare County under standing water.

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  1. En Puerto Rico, los costos de producción han aumentado en un30%los costo de alimento, y un 50% los costos de los productos

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