Subsidising our milk farmer
This point has already been mentioned in our newsletter, so apologies for repeating ourselves for our subscribers. However, we feel that it's an important issue at the moment, and we want to make sure that we spread the word.
As we are sure that you are aware, milk prices are a constant source of anxiety with farmers currently. The market price of milk has dropped. This has been as a result of several things, such as a Russian trade ban, global markets, supermarkets, and surplus milk production: it is impossible to blame one factor. However, it's serious for our farmers, because in actual fact, they are losing money on producing milk. They aren't even breaking even.
This affects all of us, because farmers are leaving the business in droves: there has been almost a 50% decrease in our dairy farming since 2001.
We are based on the Blagdon Estate in Northumberland. We source our milk from the farmer on the estate, and it's very important for traceability and sustainability to have local milk. When we heard that our farmer was struggling in the current climate, we made the decision to subsidise the farmer, to ensure that he receives a fair price for his milk. When he received only market price, it was costing him more to produce that what he was earning.
As a cheese business, milk is obviously crucial to our trading. We want to support our farmer how we can, and if that means that we pay a slightly higher price for our milk, we are more than happy to do so.
So, rest assured, when eating Northumberland Cheese, no farmer was harmed in the making of our product!