By Jamie Butler
As a dairy farmer, I often receive pity from people, who believe that we suffer a low milk price at the mercy of merciless milk buyers and supermarkets. Trust me, low milk prices are not the fault of the likes of Sainsbury's, Tesco, or Muller. It is more simple than that.
Like all industries, we suffer a low prices when supply exceeds demand. What bemuses me most is that dairy farmers own around two thirds of the world's processing capacity via co-operatives such as Arla Foods, New Zealand-based Fronterra and Dairy Farmers of America.
Yet, it appears that very little is done to resolve the core issue of milk market management. Is it that farmers just love producing milk? Is it that milk processors are worried about shortage of supply? Or competition? Is it that there are legal issues to balancing supply and demand?
Overproduction is not just an economic issue, it is an environmental and welfare one too. And it seems to me that proper milk supply management would benefit farmers, processors, the environment, the cows and the consumers of milk. I would love to hear any comments or views on this.