Almost half of UK dairy farmers are scheduled to leave the sector, according to an intentions survey carried out by the Royal Association of British Dairy Farmers (RABDF).
Of those who remain, 45% are planning to put their expansion plans on hold, leading RABDF bosses to call for continued support from the retail sector.
Mike King, RABDF vice chairman, said: “Forty nine per cent of producers see no future for themselves if current farmgate prices persist for the next six months leaving Britain with approximately 5,000 dairy farms, of which half have no confidence in immediate investment.
“Those intentions could result in the industry with insufficient critical mass and consumers short of British liquid milk and dairy produce.”
Reasons for planning to quit ranged from base price well below cost of production, long hours for very little financial return, the banks were unwilling to give further assistance, to no successor so why continue. Lack of surplus cash was the simple answer from the majority of those who indicated they intended to put their expansion plans on hold.
Mr King continued: “The loss of dairy farmers continues abated with 434 quitting in the last 12 months during which period over £1 billion has been wiped off farmgate incomes due to falling milk prices.
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