Buy local, buy British, ask questions, says CofE national rural officer

Dairy Cattle Synergy Farm, photo by Vaarok
Dairy Cattle Synergy Farm, photo by Vaarok

“It takes roughly 10 litres of milk to make 1 kilogramme of hard cheese such as cheddar, so it is important that we try and buy as much cheese, yoghurt and butter that is produced in the UK from British milk. Roughly half the milk produced in the UK is used to make dairy products. You can identify UK sourced products by the Red Tractor Logo on many packets, if not look out for the union Jack, and if you have time read the small print on the packaging.

When buying liquid milk Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Waitrose, Marks & Spencer’s and The Co-operative all source directly from dairy farmers and have a cost plus pricing model, which means the farmer receives more for the milk than it cost to produce. In recent days, Morrisons has introduced a new product where the consumer pays 10p extra for the milk, which will then be paid directly back to the farmer. This is an interesting development as it seems to absolve the supermarket from its responsibility to pay a fair price and puts the onus on the public to shop responsibly and pay more. Asda, Aldi and Lidl have also recently raised the price they pay for milk, but still a few pence short of the cost of production. Others at the time of writing, are yet to make any announcements. And sadly, having milk delivered is no guarantee that the price paid to the farmer is a good one.

If you are able to buy milk directly from a local farm or via a farm shop or local shop then do so. If like the vast majority of the population you buy your milk from the supermarket, find out how much they are paying the farmer before you choose where to buy.”

Read the full blog by Dr Jill Hopkinson (

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