Whilst there has been much in the headlines in the last month about the increase in VAT and the inclement weather, not much has been written about the sterling efforts of Cheshire’s and indeed the Country’s as a whole, Farmers who continue to milk cows, feed cattle and sheep and harvest crops, such that the nations consumers were able to enjoy a bountiful Christmas feast.
Having recently had a catch up with a number of Cheshire’s leading Dairy Farmers, Tony Rimmer, Director of Rostons, is extremely concerned about the future of Cheshire’s Dairy Industry. At this meeting there were some of the most efficient and also largest farmers in the County and they were particularly questioning, having had a guts full of the cold weather during the Christmas period, why they get up each morning to milk cows.
The price of their feed is rocketing due to the strong price of wheat and fuel costs rising they all were considering they could get rid of the cows and plough the land and grow cereals, which does not involve defrosting pipes and trying to move frozen muck.But Tony’s concern is not that they might be exiting the industry but if they and some of the better equipped and more modern units are thinking this way, some of the long established Cheshire Dairy Farmers may also be, and as a backbone of the industry within the County, many of them may well be questioning the future.The current price of milk does not adequately cover the cost of production and leave a surplus for re-investment and this is what causes the concern.
It should be borne in mind that not only do these farmers create the food that we put on the table morning and night, but they also keep the rich fabric of Cheshire green and pleasant.