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Dairy farmers ‘disappearing’ from North East Scotland

Farmers were exiting the industry after being handed their notice by Muller last year

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Dairy farmers ‘disappearing’ from North East Scotland

Aberdeenshire farmers were exiting the industry due to little demand for their milk after they were handed their notice by Muller last year.

 

Fourteen dairy farmers were handed their notice last October following a review of Muller’s operations in Scotland.

 

Farmer Roy Mitchell’s family had been in dairy since the 1950s but he said dairying was now disappearing in North East Scotland.

 

“Today is the first day we have not been milking in that shed. It went up in 1975. The first time in 45 years,” he said.

After selling the milking herd, they were now rearing youngstock and focusing on the arable side of the business.

 

Some of the other farmers had found another buyer but others including Mr Mitchell had decided to leave the industry,

 

Options

 

His only option had been Yew Tree dairy in Skelmersdale, England, which would have incurred a 4ppl haulage charge.

 

And while they were willing to take the milk, Mr Mitchell said it had already been tough to deal with the haulage charge of 1.75ppl to Muller.

 

“It was possible to do it. From my point of view: we have produced for 1.75ppl less than everyone else. That’s £60 to £65,000/year.

 

“It is frustrating. We were always behind everybody else and it is tough to try and make that up.

 

“You have got to worker harder and faster.”

 

He added it had not been an easy decision to make.

 

“You employ people. You are concerned about them getting another job. There is a lot of things that go through your mind before you decide to sell the cows.”

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