Scottish scheme to combat butter shortages revealed

By James Ridler contact

- Last updated on GMT

The Scottish government has revealed plans to combat butter shortage. Image courtesy of Flickr user Dwayne Madden
The Scottish government has revealed plans to combat butter shortage. Image courtesy of Flickr user Dwayne Madden
Plans to combat butter shortages and rising prices have been revealed by the Scottish government, as prices reach record highs.

The Scottish Agricultural Organisation Society (SAOS) will explore opportunities to ease butter supplies by collective buying and storage, to increase market competitiveness and boost sales.

The study will also look at the potential to forecast future market activity to help mitigate the effects of any instability in the sector.

The SAOS’s study is being delivered through Scotland’s £1M Market Driven Supply Chain Project. The scheme was launched in March to support food and drink supply chains in fully exploiting opportunities in UK and international markets.

Wholesale prices at a record high

Speaking at the Royal Bank of Scotland Food and Drink conference, Scottish cabinet secretary for rural economy Fergus Ewing acknowledged the price of wholesale butter had doubled since the start of the year, with wholesale prices at a record high.

“This is a concern for many of our smaller food and drink manufacturers, who use butter as a primary ingredient, such as our shortbread and confectionary producers and bakeries, who are finding trading tough.

“We have listened the concerns of our manufacturers and this urgent feasibility study will explore opportunities to exploit buying and efficiency savings made available through collaboration, boosting productivity and competitiveness within domestic and global markets.”

Ewing said he expected to see the results of the study within the next month, which would be used to support the industry in whatever way they could.

Butter and cream shortage

In July, Arla Foods boss Peder Tuborgh warned that a butter and cream shortage would see price hikes by Christmas.

The UK was facing “significant inflation”​ on butter and cream, because there wasn’t enough being produced, said the Arla Foods chief executive.

Speaking in July, Tuborgh told BBC’s Today​ programme: “Particularly in the area of butter and cream, we need demand to slow down a bit, because by Christmas time, in Europe, there will simply not be enough milk and butter around.”

Meanwhile, a Scottish dairy boss has called on the sector to think big”​ and increase production​ in order to make the most of the economic uncertainties posed by Brexit.

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2 comments

Maybe the solution is in the past

Posted by Frank Bolton,

As Clive Teobald states what goes around comes around, I seem to recall that in England & Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland there was Milk Marketing Boards
These Boards professionally allocated and maintained the balance of milk flow between the separate markets

We Often learn from history

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Price of milk paid to farmers?

Posted by Clive Teobald,

So, there is NOT enough butter and cream being produced in the UK...I wonder WHY? Could it have something to do with the rock bottom prices that dairy farmers were paid over many years by the big milk processors and driving them out of business? What goes around, comes around, so they say. Look after your dairy farmers, dairy processors and they will reward you with plenty of fresh wholesome milk to produce butter and cream with !

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