23 March 2000
Milk price parity

Most farm produce which leaves the farm in a lorry and ends up in a shopping trolley with very little processing carries a price tag four or five times that which the producer receives; eg. potatoes, carrots, cabbages, eggs etc.

The supermarkets response is that packaging and transport are expensive.

However the price of milk in the supermarket is typically around two and a half times the producer price. (2litres @ 85p).

Is it really so much cheaper to process, pasteurise, package and transport (refrigerated) milk than a sack of potatoes? Or might the fact that supermarkets are green with envy that they still have competition from doorstep deliveries where milk is sold, delivered, for – surprise surprise – about four times the farm gate price have something to do with it.

Dairy farmers and processors must work together to seek a parity price with supermarket own brand bottled water – which typically sells for 7p to 12p per pint more.

However you can bet your last farthing that should milk prices ever reach those dizzy heights then the government would step in to push it down again – after all its only milk isnt it.

  • David Kidson, Pontefract
    Email: roydmoor@globalnet.co.uk