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Weekly Edition - Published 15 August 2015

 

Local News Report - Mobile Page

 

Supermarket cuts could create milk crisis

PITCHUP.COM says farms can earn up to £200,000 annually by diversifying into camping.  Farmers were paid an average 23.66p per litre in June, down 10% since January and a quarter lower than a year ago, according to AHDB Dairy.  Farmers are declaring war against supermarkets as more milk price cuts are announced, with Morrisons being the target of recent disruption. A farmer quoted in a national paper said:- "There's a crisis. People are selling the core of their business just to pay bills and the banks. It's also a crisis for the consumer. They wish to buy British but if we don't address this situation that's going to be taken away from them by corporate greed." Dan Yates, founder of outdoor accommodation provider Pitchup.com, confirms they have seen a significant increase in the number of farmers looking for alternative revenue streams in the wake of recent cuts, with a growing number of farmers renting land out as pitches or adding lodge, caravan or 'glamping' accommodation. At present Pitchup.com has 240 farmers selling outdoor holidays via its website. Yates said that:- "It's not all doom and gloom as our best selling dairy farm has already taken £36,000 in bookings in 2015. Despite government forecasts that many farms will see incomes fall by between 11% and 21% in 2015*, income from tourism can more than counteract losses in the core farming business.  Whilst obviously this doesn't address the problem that the reduction in milk production can cause for local economies, it does show that farmers wanting to diversify into tourism can reap rewards. It can be very straightforward to set up a campsite on a farm but the returns can be game changing: our best selling campsite has received £200,000 of bookings in the last 12 months."

* 8 farms live in July 2014 versus 30 farms live in July 2015.

 

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