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Dairy Farmers?
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Bodger



Joined: 23 May 2006
Posts: 13500

PostPosted: Thu Dec 03, 15 9:26 am    Post subject:  Reply with quote    

For most of us beer isn't an essential, where as milk is. It takes some looking at as to how farmers have come to be in such a weak position.

The farming entrepreneurs who've diversified into dairy goats seem to be in a stronger position but obviously there's much fewer of them. There's an old saying that holds good and that is that a farmers worse enemy is another farmer. There's always someone whose prepared to undercut you and work for next to nothing.

Rob R



Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 31902
Location: York
PostPosted: Thu Dec 03, 15 11:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Bodger wrote:
For most of us beer isn't an essential, where as milk is. It takes some looking at as to how farmers have come to be in such a weak position.


It's nothing new - when you have something that you can't just turn off you're always in a weak position. You're dealing with unstoppable biological processes and trying to fit them into an economical model which relies upon free choice.

Mistress Rose



Joined: 21 Jul 2011
Posts: 10131

PostPosted: Fri Dec 04, 15 7:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

That's why I said some turn their milk into cheese Rob. It has a far longer shelf life, so even though you have to process all of the milk, and you don't get a return for a longer time, it is not necessary to sell everything in a very short time scale. A cheese that doesn't sell one week is more mature, not unsalable. It does go off more quickly than beer, but not anything like as fast as milk.

Rob R



Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 31902
Location: York
PostPosted: Fri Dec 04, 15 9:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Chese is a way to add value but you have the same fundamental issue of biology - you have to consume it at a similar rate as the cow produces it, otherwise you end up with too much cheese that depresses the markets further. And if cheese markets pick up you have an even longer, albeit marginally, lead time than with liquid milk. By comparison micobreweries can just buy more malt, they don't tend to grow, or even malt, their own.

Bodger



Joined: 23 May 2006
Posts: 13500

PostPosted: Fri Dec 04, 15 12:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

It still leaves most farmers at the mercy of the dairies and they tend not to show a lot of that when it comes to negotiating for the price of the milk.

Rob R



Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 31902
Location: York
PostPosted: Fri Dec 04, 15 1:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Whilst I agree with Microdairies, and I'd probably have one if I had the spare time & capital, they are not immune from exactly the same price pressures that larger dairies face. If you think dairies are unfair about the way they buy milk, that is nothing compared to the retail market which can change from day to day with no notice what-so-ever and is extremely price concious.

Mistress Rose



Joined: 21 Jul 2011
Posts: 10131

PostPosted: Sat Dec 05, 15 8:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

I realise that you still need long lead times on even cheese making Rob. I was suggesting it as a way of extending shelf life and giving a little more leeway.

We have a lead time of 20-40 years minimum rising to 150 years on our crops, and hazel is pretty awkward about timing as it has to be harvested within a year or two of the right one otherwise it goes out of useable size. It was noticeable at a conference I was at that the chestnut coppicers were far more laid back about the market than the hazel coppicers for that very reason.

Rob R



Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 31902
Location: York
PostPosted: Sat Dec 05, 15 9:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Yes, I know, but to go back to the OP, it's not like the microbreweries because they don't have to do anything to store the ingredients, in fact they don't have t buy them, whereas dairy producers must spend money to turn their produce into something more storable, and still be uncertain of people wanting it. Cheese adds value, but it's a lot cheaper to dump milk rather than cheese.

Nick



Joined: 02 Nov 2004
Posts: 33866
Location: Hereford
PostPosted: Sat Dec 05, 15 6:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

They're also nothing like microbreweries because dairies produce almost exactly the same stuff, for most people most of the time. Certainly, once it's on your cocoa pops or in your tea, it's the same. Micro beers are distinctly different, and that's their usp.

It's a comparison that fails in a lot of ways.

Rob R



Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 31902
Location: York
PostPosted: Sat Dec 05, 15 8:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Nick wrote:
Certainly, once it's on your cocoa pops or in your tea, it's the same.


If you're a heathen, yes. We'd just managed to get some decent milk in the local shop, after years of Spar's own brand. Then the shop was changed to McColls and now all we can get is Wiseman's.

dpack



Joined: 02 Jul 2005
Posts: 34457
Location: yes
PostPosted: Sun Dec 06, 15 2:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

cow>bucket>dpack is very different to owt from a shop and i will happily consume more than is probably good for me

i use alpro "fake milk " for cooking and drink black coffee if no moo is available to help.

cow>machine>chiller>jug>dpack is acceptable but there isnt such a chain locally

and i only really like salad fed jersey/guernsey milk

maybe im fussy but i would rather not bother with the stuff most places sell

the economics of milk are such that the folk who might have a product i want are very rare nowadays,i grew up thinking unpasturised jersey milk was normal milk but it seems it is the "caviar"of white splosh.

Mistress Rose



Joined: 21 Jul 2011
Posts: 10131

PostPosted: Sun Dec 06, 15 8:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Along the same lines Dpack, I would much prefer not to buy homogenised milk, as you can't take the cream off it for 'top of the milk', clotted cream, or even a tiny amount of butter. Sadly, I can't really get proper milk except at some farmers markets.

Rob R



Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 31902
Location: York
PostPosted: Sun Dec 06, 15 8:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Mistress Rose wrote:
Along the same lines Dpack, I would much prefer not to buy homogenised milk, as you can't take the cream off it for 'top of the milk', clotted cream, or even a tiny amount of butter. Sadly, I can't really get proper milk except at some farmers markets.


Waitrose do it; Duchy Originals. There might also be some farms nearby, depending upon your location.

Nick



Joined: 02 Nov 2004
Posts: 33866
Location: Hereford
PostPosted: Sun Dec 06, 15 12:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

You are not most people.

Mistress Rose



Joined: 21 Jul 2011
Posts: 10131

PostPosted: Mon Dec 07, 15 8:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

I think I can get some in Sainsburys at least sometimes, but it is annoying that it isn't the norm these days. I understand that homogenised lasts longer, but still prefer the proper stuff.

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