Still no signs of hope for Bute dairy farms

Dairy calves on Bute.
Dairy calves on Bute.

Bute’s dairy farmers are no nearer to seeing a light at the end of the tunnel as falling milk prices continue to hurt the sector on the island.

Robert Macintyre, who is one of Bute’s 13 remaining dairy farmers, and is also one of the island’s Argyll and Bute councillors, said the Bute Estate’s six-month postponement of rent payments had helped - but that the situation meant local dairy farmers had no choice but to make no investment in their businesses.

“On average, since April 1, First Milk members are receiving 17p a litre for their milk,” he told Bute Community Council’s monthly meeting.

“The cost of production is 24 pence a litre - that’s as cheap as you can do it. Everyone is losing money and the difficulties are becoming more acute.

“Bute Estate have helped with the proposals they have put forward. But First Milk has received a lot of criticism, and rightly so.”