The story of the value of milk

I’m writing this post in fury having just received the saddest letter from our local milkman, Fred Yates and Son. I draw from my memories of working for what was then Britain’s largest farmer who exited the dairy industry 16 years ago due to the poor market. 

Yates are a local dairy with a farm about a mile up the hill. You can drive past and wave at the cows, the milk is delivered and it tastes just as milk should. Sometimes you can tell when they’re out on springtime grass through the taste. Sometimes the cream is so thick on the top you can turn the bottle up and none pours out. I value Yates’ milk and view locally produced, independent milk a luxury that I’m very happy to pay for. I believe in paying for high quality basics because these are the foods you consume the most. 

Sadly not enough share my view. From Wednesday Yates will no longer be delivering to the domestic market. James cites the cost of the pressure on price from milk sold by supermarkets, the lack of local custom and the intensive cost/time for delivering just doesn’t add up to a sustainable business. 

It’s a story that has been repeated around the country and Yates are one of the last local independent producers standing. The desire for cheap food by consumers, the lack of interest in where food comes from that lands in our kitchens and supermarkets fighting it out in an ever spiralling market to the bottom has ruined small milk producers. I’m fuming and so very sad. 

A brilliant business delivering a wonderful product to the doorstep and not enough custom. There’s enough moaning about the loss of localness in Mossley but few put their money where their mouths are. A sore loss and an indictment of the greed for cheap food. 


Hooray. J&S Beaumont on 01457 872061 (07490 662688) deliver Yates’ milk in Mossley and will continue to do so. Let’s hope Yates Dairy and Beaumont go from strength to strength. Still, the fact Yates is pulling out of domestic deliveries says it all when it comes to the value buyers place on milk. 

MsCrow Written by:

One Comment

  1. Veronika
    April 4, 2016

    Well written!
    It’s truly sad that our children won’t remember who milkman was and what real milk taste like, due to people bying blind and thinking they saving money on milk, even thought you add the cost of transport , effect of shopping, stress and last but not least the taste …it’s probably the same price
    Any time I will rather have stress free experience and beautiful milk out my door.
    Very upsetting letter .

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