The whole country is feeling the effects of COVID-19, and the UK dairy industry is no exception. There have been some serious impacts affecting the viability of the sector in the immediate and long term.
For many dairy farmers, it has already reached crisis stage. The loss of the 'out of home' market (restaurants, cafés and pubs) has resulted in unsustainably low prices being paid for their milk , leaving many dairy farming businesses struggling to make ends meet. This has affected both standard milk producers and the niche or speciality cheese and yoghurt makers, with limited outlets for a surplus of milk and dairy products on the market.
Some dairy farmers have had issues with their milk not being collected, with logistics and processing struggling to adapt quickly to such a change in the markets. You may have seen empty shelves or buying restrictions on dairy products at supermarkets, but confusingly heard that some milk is being disposed of on farm, or you may be wondering why farmers don’t just give their excess milk away?
We've put together a list of questions and answers to help you understand the current situation and challenges facing the UK dairy sector and to pinpoint how you can help.