Dairy farmers in the U.K. have had to dump their milk. The drop in demand due to the Covid-19 pandemic has meant milk will not be collected from many farms over the next few weeks.
With restaurants, cafés and many other establishments shut, the demand for milk has fallen and processors are not willing to process it without a market.
Llyr Griffiths, a Welsh farmer, posted on social media that he had to dump 11,500 litres of milk as a result of this. He said: “Our milk processor Freshways who mainly supply companies such as Costa Coffee, Starbucks, British Airways, P&O cruises as well as many others lost the majority of their milk sales because of the Covid-19 pandemic.”
“I am not blaming Freshways, however, this is only happening due to the effect of the pandemic. The government have said they will assist businesses affected by Covid-19…but I am yet to see any real financial help to the processors business or us as farmers.”
“I’m hopefully going to be the fourth-generation farming on our family farm. But if the farmer carries on being on the bottom of the pecking order, then I doubt my son will want to be the fifth…and I am sure this is true for many other young farmers.”
‘16,500 litres of milk down the drain’
Many other farmers across the U.K. have shared their experience on social media.
Ellie Young said: “Goodbye 16,500 litres of milk down the drain. The effects Covid-19. With hospitality services shut e.g. Restaurants, cafes, schools, airlines etc., there is no demand for our milk, so the processors don’t want it.”
Anthony Stirzaker, a dairy farmer from Kent, posted “16,000+ litres of milk wasted today. Disheartening to say the least. F**k you, Covid-19.”
Conor Mulvihill, director of Dairy Industry Ireland, has blasted the European Commission for a lack of movement to support farmers during this difficult time.
“Every day that they delay in moving on supporting the market will result in further long-term damage to our rural economy. The long-term financial impact of non-action will amount to far more than action now.”
“We have now seen severe processing difficulties reported by our colleagues in the UK, Italy, France, Spain and Portugal. The Commission needs to step up and act here. We can no longer delay in opening the toolbox to protect industry and farmers. Private storage aid for dairy products is a minimum,” he concluded.
Image source: Anthony Stirzaker Facebook