Watch out for the milk crisis & buy British lamb

There have been some empty supermarkets shelves of milk in recent weeks. Much like the egg crisis we have just experienced, our dairy experts have now warned there will be a milk supply shortage due to the lack of demand from China. This has been happening for the last three years since the first lockdown, and the consequent increase needed in European milk production. What a crazy world we live in.

The government are cutting the price of our British farmers milk again. We are dairy farmers here in the Tarrant Valley and we milk approximately 300 milking cows every day. These are split into two milking units with 150 in each unit and are looked after by their own individual dairy man who cares for their every need. We also have a relief dairy man, who looks after both herds when the others are on their days off and taking holidays. It’s a complex operation.

Right now we are being paid 52p per litre in January 2023 but the prediction is that within the next twelve months it will drop to just 32p per litre! This is totally unsustainable and unjust. It costs us 45p to produce each litre and if this prediction is correct, it’s a disaster for UK milk producers. There’s not many of us left in the country due to the rising costs and shortage of labour and we need your support as much as possible. Let’s all hope that this prediction is not accurate!

I’m already talking to my butchers & chefs about Valentines Day, Mothering Sunday and Easter Weekend as they will all creep up fast. English Lamb will be showcased on all my menus both at the butchery and the pub. Please order it when you see it, the taste is amazing.

Because our stupid government signed us up to a trade deal with New Zealand & Australia, apparently to help reduce our carbon footprint (don’t ask), the impact on our British sheep farmers is huge. They are left vulnerable to these imports and simply can’t compete with the cheap prices that the mass farming in the southern hemisphere enables compared to our small island. Their farming practices & standards are so different to our own but no one mentions that.

Think again if you pick up a piece of frozen half or whole leg of lamb that’s not English that price is not always everything. Just think of all those air miles and carbon emissions you will be saving if you buy British home-reared meat. It means a lot to our farmers and our environment.

Fish that’s in season in January and February is the best catch we will see for months. Everyone likes to eat shellfish in summer time with sunshine and a glass of fizz but mussels, clams and crabs are all best in winter British cod is also great to eat this time of year and in February we can enjoy seasonal lemon sole, hake, red mullet and halibut alongside the cod. The Dorset Foodie Feed has a great list of fresh fish for you to enjoy & were a Love Local Trust Local Award Winner in 2020, our first year of running the awards. Heather Brown is doing a brilliant job there.