United Kingdom: Cheddar makers suffer on weak demand

In the United Kingdom a new report faces the challenges by UK cheddar makers and the impact they could have on the future of the cheddar market states that the current market conditions are adversely affecting the security of cheddar supplies for the UK market, with short-term thinking currently prevailing over a long-term strategy. Cheddar makers suffer on weak demand due to inflationary price increases at retail level, strong milk volumes, expensive stocks valuations from record milk prices, the high cost of borrowing, and a weak negotiating position with retailers. Some cheddar processors are undoubtedly vulnerable and there is a real risk of long-term damage to the sector unless there is a greater understanding of how the supply chain works, and greater buyer empathy towards the challenges it currently faces. According to the report it is not in the long-term interests of British retailers to put pressure on British cheddar makers for low prices as is currently happening. If they continue to do this, cheddar makers and their supplying farmers will suffer further losses and the net result will be less British milk and cheese available for the UK market as the number of cheesemakers and their supplying farmers decreases.

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