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Dairy Industry Profits Down By Over 50% In One Year

by | October 29, 2019

A recent report has revealed that the value of cow’s milk has plummeted by just over 50 percent in the last year.

Farming UK’s latest annual report has shown that the price of cow’s milk is currently at 2.69 pence per liter, down from 5.9 pence last year. This equates to a value of £141 per dairy cow, down from £383 per cow. 

Data from the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) shows that around 35 farmers in the UK have shut down operations this year so far. This means that there are an estimated 8,820 dairy farmers left in the country. 

oat milk vegan alternative
Oat milk is among the most popular vegan alternatives to cow’s milk (Source: Irina Rostokina / Shutterstock.com)

Vegan Choices Over Cow’s Milk

Falling dairy profits can be attributed to a number of causes, such as the increased cost of production and the uncertainty surrounding Brexit. However, the majority of dairy farmers are looking to the rise of vegan milks as a leading cause. 

Oat milk is an especially popular choice in the UK, with a 70 percent increase in demand being noted in 2018 alone. 

“We’ve seen the introduction of the plastic bag charge, the phasing out of plastic straws and now the growing popularity of oat-based products. Last year we found that younger consumers were choosing to spend more during their grocery shopping on more sustainable options” explained Ishen Paran, the UK general manager of Oatly — one of the most well-known producers of oat milk.

dairy farming cow's milk
The popularity of cow’s milk is dropping (Source: FooTToo / Shutterstock.com)

Global Decline Of Dairy

Far from being a UK-exclusive trend, the increasing preference for vegan milks and the decline of dairy is also seen in several other parts of the world.

Over the last 16 months, 375 dairy farms in Australia are reported to have closed, whilst the US saw a $1.1 billion hit to cow’s milk sales in the last year. 

Do you think this decrease in the value of cow’s milk is set to continue? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!

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