During the last week there hasn’t been any real change in the UK dairy industry. We are still in a situation where the country needs to find a home for over 10.5 million litres of milk a week that is usually supplied into foodservice and wholesale markets. Some of this milk volume can be taken to drying facilities but there are still farmers being told to dispose of milk or reduce the volume they supply by up to 5%.
Most of our dairy supply partners are still experiencing some very hard times and a number of these suppliers have been forced to use the government-backed furlough scheme to lay drivers off during this difficult time. There are a lot of independent dairymen who are trying to expand door step deliveries but this is proving harder to maintain then they first thought. In 2012 there were 14,500 dairy farmers in the UK; this year it’s being reported there are only 8,600.
Egg prices are rising due to feed costs going up by 10% across the country, this is equivalent to around £25 a tonne. Processors have tried to redirect eggs that are normally supplied into the foodservice and hospitality sectors into retail. Whilst this is good for processors short term, animal feed is still rising which mean egg prices will increase over the next few weeks. Only last year an extra 220 million eggs were sold, so with Covid19 causing panic buying, the British egg council have said that retailers will struggle to fill their shelves.
With all the uncertainty looking like it will continue for a number of weeks, the dairy industry is in for a very difficult time with prices going up almost on a weekly basis. Supporting the industry is our main focus and delivering the best option to our customers is what we will always try and do as a business.