Monthly Archives: July 2012

Do We Value Our Countryside?

This question is prompted by the plight of dairy farmers whose costs outweigh the price they get for milk.

In my view the most poignant remark in this report is the comparison between the cost of bottled water and milk. (Bottled water is another bugbear of mine. All that ecological cost when you can turn on a tap.)

It’s easy to be tempted by cheap milk. I buy filtered milk because it lasts longer, or Asda milk because it had a good use-by date after it’s sell-by date. But at £2 for 8 pints I sometimes feel guilty that the farmers are not getting enough income to maintain their herds and invest in new equipment.

Once a farmer gives up his dairy herd, the milking equipment falls into disuse. Once that happens the up-front investment is too great to start up again.

Our countryside is a result of farming. Increasingly intense farming methods to squeeze every last drop of milk from these animals (living creatures, not machines) has had unfortunate consequences in the past. If we lose our dairy herds, our hedgerows, our wild flowers, and the countryside gets turned into golf courses and theme parks we will lose something very precious. Farming acts as part of the ecological balance maintaining our countryside.

I don’t think I would mind paying a bit more for milk, providing I was assured that money was going to the dairy farmers, and not to the supermarkets. For example £1.25 for 4 pints wouldn’t break my bank and that 25p might be enough to help save British farming.

I might have to go to the Co-op to buy my milk, if they pay the farmers best. I might have to switch allegiance to supermarkets who value our countryside.

If you agree, please “like” this post and pass the message on. A huge number of likes might ad weight to the farmers’ cause.


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