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On a knife edge: Arla dairy warns over potential butter shortage

07 July 2017 by
On a knife edge: Arla dairy warns over potential butter shortage

Arla dairy, which makes Anchor and Cravendale, has warned that the UK could face a butter and cream shortage this Christmas.

Peder Tuborgh, chief executive of Arla, told the BBC that there was insufficient milk being supplied by farmers to make the products.

He added that the milk shortage began last year when producers "put the brakes on" following an over-production of milk that resulted in lower prices.

Tuborgh warned that consumers would feel the impact of the shortage in the coming months.

The news comes following new figures by the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation reveal global butter prices have hit an all-time high, rising by 14% last month.

The National Farmers Union said Tuborgh's comments were "scaremongering", although it did confirm that the wholesale price of butter was at record levels.

It told the BBC that "scaremongering about lack of milk supply going forward only serves to concern consumers. It's no surprise that milk buyers are worried about milk volumes falling".

Katie Prescott, Today business presenter, said: "There's speculation in the UK that manufacturers are stockpiling butter and cream as the price rises - pushing it up further. On the supply side, the National Farmers' Union says farmers are wary of upping production too much because they fear another price crash - and the uncertainty caused by Brexit."

According to the Office for National Statistics, a 250g block of butter now costs £1.49 compared with £1.35 in 2016.

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