Saturday, 29 September 2007

World Milk Shortage

Today I want to link two things that have been part of my week this week. I have been working on the October Prayer Guidelines to be issued today for the 300 Methodists in the churches in the Northern Section of the Circuit, and I included a prayer for farmers and all in agriculture affected by floods and the foot and mouth and blue tongue outbreaks. I have also posted about the assistance being given to farmers by a Christian Network.

Then I received the following letter from my milkman, which takes effect from today -

Dear Customer,

In order to ensure a continued supply of fresh British milk to your
doorstep and secure supplies of milk for our milkman, Dairy Crest has had
to increase the price it pays to its farmers by a total of 3.85 pence per
pint. This has been unavoidable and as a consequence the price of your
milk will increase by 4 pence per pint from Sunday 30th September.

The main reason for this increase is a world shortage of milk, which is
affecting the price of all milk and dairy products. This comes at a time
when the British dairy industry is also experiencing significant changes.
The soaring cost of animal feed and poor weather over the summer has led
to lower amounts of milk being produced and some real difficulties for many
of our farmers.

Many of our customers appreciate the role of our milkmen in the local
communities in which they serve and how hard they work to provide you with
the best possible service. At this time of a world shortage of milk we
hope that you will understand our reasons for this price increase and
continue to support your milkman.

With two large supermarkets and a small Tesco (at the local petrol station) just ten minutes walk down the road, where milk is sold much cheaper, there is the temptation to stop the doorstep service and use the supermarkets, as many have already done. Yet the doorstep service is vital for some people, despite the price, and it would appear that the supermarkets do not pay the farmers a fair price for their milk. Add to that the prayers that we will be offering for our farmers, and Christians feel that loyalty to the milkmen and the dairy industry is essential if we are to be sincere in our prayers. So this means a tightening will have to be made somewhere else in the household budget .

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