Thursday, 18 November 2010

Battle for the sanity of our cows.

Today we hear the Lincolnshire factory farmer has reduced the number of cows he wants to lock up in his factory farm from 8.000 to c4.000. Thin end of the wedge. Once he's had the go-ahead for this number of cows the sky will be the limit. Foot in the door and all that. He is on the same push as the gm foods lobby. Kill off all the small conventional struggling dairies then the prices will really take off! Personally I think milk is far too cheap anyway. Super markets have largely been responsible for pressurising dairy farmers into keeping their profit margins to a minimum, thus small dairy farms (with less than 100 cows) are in great danger of going under. Unscrupulous people can move in and take advantage of a fragile situation, and this is exactly what's happened. We can only hope and pray that this horrific plan will be given a swift knock back. see Compassion in World Farming for in detail information.


  1. The small family dairy farms have been going out of business steadily for some years now, because the price they can get for milk barely covers production costs. However, people still demand cheap food (and not just milk). Against that background, it's understandable that farmers look to reduce production costs, and the Lincolnshire unit is nothing compared to the dairy units, feed lots and hog units that our cousins over the pond are running. We've also got an ever-increasing population to feed.

    It's either intensify farming to reduce costs, or increase the price the consumer pays. Damned if I know the answer to that conundrum - but suspect that continued intensification is sadly inevitable.

  2. I think therefore I am19 November 2010 at 19:46

    Engineer, I agree small dairy farms have been going out of business but surely this is mainly because supermarkets/big business have been using milk as a loss leader for years and forcing down the price making it almost impossible for many small dairy farms to survive? Also UK farmers have been threatened by overseas milk suppliers who may have even less animal welfare standards laws to abide by. Just because USA seems to have allowed monstrous nightmare "dairy units" - I believe it doesn't make even ones a fraction of their size acceptable in any way. Milk is hugely undervalued and I feel we need to pay its true cost to be compassionate towards small dairy farm owners and animals - nearly everyone could afford to pay only a few pence extra.