9% of British farmers set to stop milk production in next 2 years

The British dairy industry is under threat with 9% of farmers likely to stop milk production in the next two years, according to a survey from the National Farmers Union (NFU).

A further 23% said they were “unsure” if their business would continue production, according to the research, conducted between 5 and 30 July. 

The results come amid soaring costs for the dairy industry. Some 84% of farmers said they were concerned about feed prices, while 83% highlighted energy prices, and 87% said the impact of government regulation as a worry.

The main factor deterring dairy farmers from increasing milk production is the scale of investment needed for things such as suitable slurry storage to ensure farms are compliant with environmental regulations.

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NFU dairy board chair Michael Oakes said: “It’s clear that significant inflationary pressures combined with below cost of production prices are continuing to put the resilience of British dairy farming businesses under threat.

“The results of this survey show that, now more than ever, we need resilient and collaborative dairy supply chains. It’s vital we reverse this trend of boom or bust and invest in our supply chains.”

Oakes urged that new industry-wide regulation on contracts, expected to be introduced later this year, must support “fairer, more transparent and accountable supply chains”.

However, he warned that regulation was “not a silver bullet”.

“With increasing global demand for British dairy, we know that the long-term future is bright for our sector,” he said. “To ensure we maximise this potential, it’s imperative that government continues to work with us to ensure we have the right environmental, regulatory and trade framework in place to support the production of high quality, nutritious and sustainable food.”



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