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A Dairy Farmer's response to 'The True Cost of Milk'

I am sure that many of you will have watched the BBC programme ‘The True Cost of Milk’ which aired on 14th February 2022 (if not you can catch it here).

Initially, we weren’t sure whether or not we should address the content of this programme. We were so horrified and angered by what we saw, it took a while to find the words to express how we felt about it. The programme undoubtedly caused unjustified damage to the dairy farming industry but it did also highlight some important points that need to be addressed.

What was shown on the programme is NOT a true representation of what happens in ours, or indeed any, dairy farm that we know.

It is however, perhaps a representation of what can happen in an intensive farming system, albeit in ONE location. The abuse shown was horrific, barbaric, unnecessary and inexcusable. It was quite frankly, incredibly hard to even watch.

BUT, just as the actions of one individual do not define society, the actions of one farm does not, and should not, define an industry.

Our life revolves around our cows, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. We care for them; we respect them and we would NEVER hurt them. I can genuinely say that this is also true for every dairy farmer we personally know.

The influence of the supermarket must not be under-estimated in the life of a dairy cow, or any other farm animal for that matter. Their actions and relentless pursuit in driving down the cost of food in order to increase their profits, does sadly have consequences at farm level.

We are fortunate in that we do not supply to a supermarket contract. The bulk of our milk is supplied to a dairy ingredients processor who look for quality in the milk they purchase. They do not push us to over-produce just as we do not push our cows to do the same. They too, are a family business; they genuinely care about the farmers who supply them; we are not just a number to them and we have always been grateful for that, as it allows us to care for our cows in the way we want to.

As the saying goes, if you want to see a change, be the change. Choose not to buy your milk from a supermarket, use your local vending machine or your local farm shop. Support your local producers; this is not about promoting what we do, there are many milk producers in Dorset and every one of them does a good job. They will appreciate your support and you will know that the milk you consume has come from a well-cared-for cow.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us or even better, visit us. We are always very happy to show you what we do and how we care for our cows.


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