Shortage of butter, shops who have supplies are rationing their customers to one packet each

News of this continuing shortage was heard whilst on webcam to Tokyo on Sunday; soon British supplies will dwindle as the exit from dairying continues.

milk farmers leaveAs global markets fluctuate and speculators profit, dairy farmers wonder why British prices for liquid milk should drop as they are supplying the domestic market.

The graphic opposite refers to December 2014; it would be worth seeing a record of perishable fruit and vegetable producers who are also being held to ransom by layers of middlemen.

in 1985 about 82,000 Japanese dairy farms had a combined 2.11 million cows, according to their ministry. Now there are 19,000 and 1.4 million animals. The Japanese government scaled down Japan’s dairy herd in 2007 but miscalculated demand and two years later the country was confronted with its first serious butter shortage.

Soon British supplies will dwindle as the exit from dairying continues

The British government is also scaling down its dairy herds by refusing the justice of a fair price covering living and production costs to dairy farmers – hiding behind a toothless ombudsman whom they admit cannot even deal with most of these farmers.

neil parish mp smallerSome senior politicians say airily ‘we can import all we need’. MP Neil Parish comments that the previous Government, for much of their final period in office, did not encourage food production: “In fact they said, ‘We can import as much food as we like’; our home production did not matter . . .”

We need fair trade for food producers worldwide

Cornish farmer Michael Hart wrote to Mr Parish advocating:

  • better contracts governed by law,
  • government regulation and control of supermarket power
  • and acceptance of the fact that food produced to a high standard costs more than world market price will pay.

Address the balance of trade by importing less, not by trying to export more

MH 2We should supply our own market at a fair price for producers and cut down on imports before we worry about exports. As a nation we import more than we export, in general. We could, with milk, supply our own market and redress the balance  by importing less, not by trying to export more.

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