By Max Musson:
During the last few days dairy farmers in the UK have mounted a number of protests at supermarkets aimed at drawing attention to their plight in which supermarket chains that dominate the wholesale milk market in this country have been paying too little for the milk they produce.
On average it costs farmers 16p per pint to produce milk, but they have only been offered 12p per pint by supermarkets, meaning the farmers lose 4p on average for every pint of milk they produce.
The supermarkets sell milk for an average of 23.5p per pint, claiming 11.5 pence to cover ‘processing costs’ and to provide them with a profit.
Supermarket spokespeople have blamed this crisis for UK farmers on a world overproduction of milk which means they are able to obtain milk from abroad for little as 12p per pint and it therefore appears that they are exploiting this situation and using it as leverage against British farmers to force down the price of the home produced product.
Many of us will find this situation strange in view of the fanfare with which supermarkets have pledged their support for the principle of ‘Fair Trade’.
Fair trade is a social movement whose stated goal is to help producers, primarily those in developing countries, achieve better trading conditions, that is, secure a price for their produce that gives them a liveable margin which promotes sustainability. It would appear however that when it comes to British producers, no such generosity is forthcoming from supermarket food retailers and this situation smacks of anti-White racism. It would appear that ‘Fair Trade’ only applies to non-White producers in the Third World who must be protected from market forces, but not to White producers in Europe, who must strive to operate at the mercy of market forces.
Under Fair Trade rules, a milk producer in the Third World for example would be guaranteed a price per pint that would cover the costs of production, plus a margin sufficient to provide the producer with a liveable income. The terms of business imposed on British dairy farmers however have been such that not only are dairy farmers not provided with a liveable income, they are not even paid enough to cover the basic costs of production.
The overall price paid for milk has dropped by 25 per cent in the past year, causing farmers to face rising debts or go out of business – farmers in Scotland have claimed 19 farms have closed this year alone, and many are on the brink of bankruptcy.
It is high time retailers, and especially supermarket retailers in this country, realised that social responsibility, like charity, begins at home. According to the Daily Mail, Tesco, Sainsbury and M&S are the only major supermarkets who are currently paying dairy farmers more than 16p per pint I would urge all patriotic British people to consider transferring their custom to these supermarkets in the short term. Furthermore, it would appear that Morrisons are the first of the major supermarket chains to agree a 10p per litre premium per pint that will be paid to British dairy farmers from later this autumn onwards to enable them to stay in business and this is an initiative that we at Western Spring applaud and expect to see other supermarkets following, although the question must be asked, why it is not possible to introduce this initiative immediately?
By Max Musson © 2015
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