Milk prices could skyrocket by 50% as farmers hit with soaring production costs

ITV News Business Editor Joel Hills reports on the alarming price rises dairy farms are facing

Dairy industry bosses have warned that the price of milk and butter could rise by 50% in another blow to people's pockets during the current cost of living crisis.

Rising production costs, long-term inflation increases, and the ongoing war between Ukraine and Russia have resulted in a price hike on farming essentials.

Farmers are now paying more for fertiliser, fuel and animal feed, and as a result, there are fears that a surge in milk prices will be implemented to cover spiralling production costs.

According to dairy farmer adviser Kite Consulting, the price increase means that four pints of milk could rise from £1.15 to between £1.60 and £1.70.

Other dairy products such as butter could also increase, with the price of an average pack increasing from £1.55 to more than £2.

Chair of the National Farmers' Union dairy board, Michael Oakes, agreed that price hikes on milk will likely be as much as 50%.

"Rapid inflation of input costs, with fertiliser prices rising four-fold, animal feed rising by 70% and fuel costs continuing to soar, means that for most dairy farmers the cost of production is much higher than the price they are currently receiving for their milk," Mr Oakes said.

"We know the British public hugely value the high-quality, sustainable dairy products farmers produce.

"Farmers are not responsible for setting the price of milk for the public, so we're asking for fairness across the whole supply chain to manage these inflationary pressures and to ensure that farmers are being supported through these challenging times."

The price of milk is expected to rise by around 50% as farmers battle increasing production costs. Credit: PA

Industry leaders from the UK and around Europe flew to Brussels at the end of last week to hold talks with the continent's leading dairy industry group, Eucolait.

Talks were mooted over increased concerns over soaring costs at farm level and further up the supply chain, with the war in Ukraine being cited as a key contributor.

Speaking to the Telegraph, Andrew Kuyk, director general of the Provision Trade Federation, said: “Everything is going in the wrong direction at the same time.“The direction of travel is bad. The strength of the price increases is stronger than most people will have known in recent times because this is all pretty unprecedented.”