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message 1: by Simon (Highwayman) (last edited Jan 31, 2015 01:54AM) (new)

Simon (Highwayman) (highwayman) | 4698 comments Firstly, Go and buy fresh milk from waitrose and compare it to the white water they sell at asda. It is shocking that we have allowed the supermarkets to change milk so much that I suspect some younger people don't know what it really tastes like.

This was a race to the bottom by the supermarkets. They tell us it is because the consumer wanted it but how does that really translate to consumer choice? Supermarket A reduces price to increase footfall. We all go to Supermarket A. Supermarket B follows suit so we go back. Supermarkets do not do loss leaders. Someone pays. In this case farmers and distributors.

Now, we can help the farmers by paying more for our milk, but who will we really be helping? Farmers? No. We will be helping supermarkets and people who want cheap milk. Buy buying the more expensive milk you are subsidising the footfall milk.

We should be demanding quality milk at a sustainable price and we can do this by buying our milk from farm shops and dare I say it.. The milkman.


message 2: by Will (new)

Will Once (willonce) | 4053 comments Yes, but we have got to want to pay more. Supermarkets sell cheap milk because their customers buy it at those prices.

If enough people want to buy more expensive and better milk then the supermarkets would stock it. We can't blame the supermarkets for giving us what we want - although we can criticise them for some of their marketing and sourcing methods.

Take another product - pasta. At its most basic, pasta is nothing but flour and water. It's little more than glue. Sometimes egg gets added. Not a lot else.

Waitrose (we're posh in Godalming!) will offer you their basic pasta at £1.20 or £1.30 a kilo. And they will also sell you an artisan, genuine Italian "Artigiano Pastaio giuseppe cocco pappardelle". For you, sir, that's £3.99 for 250g or a parmesan shaving less than £12 a kilo.

They can sell with such a wide range because we buy both. If milk had a similar image to pasta we might pay more for it too. Maybe we need a TV chef to champion real milk? After all, if Delia writes about cranberries we all rush out to buy them.

Not so sure about the milkman, though. If I'm going to the supermarket anyway, what's the point in having another vehicle on the road delivering a small proportion of the goods I want to buy? Nostalgia value, maybe, but otherwise it's just adding costs.


message 3: by Lynne (Tigger's Mum) (last edited Jan 31, 2015 02:57AM) (new)

Lynne (Tigger's Mum) | 5862 comments This is so true,Simon, my MIL and her neighbours all gave the milkman up and thought it was wonderful to save a couple of pennies in getting supermarket milk. We were really cross with her, she was in her late eighties and to carry milk in her shopping was a stupid move when she could have it delivered in all weathers.
Will the 'pioneers' of electric vehicles were the milk floats, they had them long before they were in vogue and 'green' . A few milkmen carry other goods like potatoes, eggs, fruit juice. They can be a great help to older customers.


message 4: by Jim (new)

Jim | 21938 comments There are two big problems with milk. First they 'standardise it'.
Legally, to be 'whole milk' it has to have a minimum of 3.5% butterfat. So now milk is 'standardised' and skimmed down to 3.5%. The stuff they skim off they sell you as cream etc.
Given that flavour tends to be fat soluble, this means the milk doesn't taste like it should.

Then they pasturise it. Pasturising milk makes it taste disgusting. When I first went to school I refused point blank to drink school milk because I refused point blank to believe it was milk. When you're used to drinking unpasteurised milk at 4.5% fat, the stuff in bottles is rubbish.

Ironically there used to be an experiment they did in schools where you'd leave out unpasteurised and pasteurised milk in saucers and the unpasteurised would go off first, proving that pasteurisation had killed the bacteria.

Except the unpasteurised used to survive better, mainly because it naturally contains enzymes to protect from bacteria, which you destroy when pasteurising.
The main purpose of pasteurising was actually to destoy TB
But by the seventies we didn't need to do that, we'd got TB infected herds down to a handful in a couple of parishes in the South West.
But at that time, when they culled out a dairy herd with TB, they culled any badgers within a certain radius. They stopped culling badgers and kept on culling dairy herds. Now we cull about 27,000 cattle a year because they've got TB


message 5: by Tim (new)

Tim | 9478 comments I thought blue-top milk was 4%?


message 6: by Jim (new)

Jim | 21938 comments There are some small dairies who don't 'standardise' so you can check the bottle, but most is 'standardised, homogenised, (so no cream on the top which means you cannot see how much they've robbed you of) and pasturised


message 7: by Bookworm (last edited Jan 31, 2015 06:24AM) (new)

Bookworm | 3 comments We don't drink the green stuff called milk. We only drink blue top. My kids who are at uni also find it disgusting that the majority of their housemates only drink green top.
We used to have a milkman deliver to us, he used have bread and orange juice which we bought from him. The only problem was in the summer months our milk had gone off before it got to our doorstep.
Then he stopped because he didn't have enough business down our street.


message 8: by [deleted user] (new)

After several years of putting green top in my tea, when people occasionally only have blue in their fridge I find the taste disgusting. Semi-skimmed rules as far as I'm concerned.


message 9: by R.M.F. (new)

R.M.F. Brown | 4128 comments Goat's milk is the way to go.


message 10: by Jacquelynn (new)

Jacquelynn Luben (jackieluben) | 278 comments I have a milkman delivery, and I've never stopped having it, though I go to the supermarket for the bulk of my shop. He also delivers cheese, butter and other dairy products, confectionary, biscuits and bread/potatoes and other odd groceries. Sometimes I buy some of these things, because it means I can put off the supermarket shop for a day or so. I can order them online the night before delivery (which is only 3 times a week.) He also does special offers, which I sometimes take up.

If I was out at work, I would probably have to think differently, but as I have always worked from home, it's very convenient.

The milkman no longer delivers in an electric float; it's a van, and I assume it runs on normal petrol/diesel.

I hope by getting the milk delivered, I am doing something to help the farmer.

Like Will above, I'm in Surrey - probably about 10 miles from Godalming.


message 11: by Tim (new)

Tim | 9478 comments Tom wrote: "After several years of putting green top in my tea, when people occasionally only have blue in their fridge I find the taste disgusting. Semi-skimmed rules as far as I'm concerned."

Exactly the opposite.


message 12: by R.M.F. (new)

R.M.F. Brown | 4128 comments Jacquelynn wrote: "I have a milkman delivery, and I've never stopped having it, though I go to the supermarket for the bulk of my shop. He also delivers cheese, butter and other dairy products, confectionary, biscui..."

I miss the whirr of the electric milk float.


message 13: by Jacquelynn (new)

Jacquelynn Luben (jackieluben) | 278 comments I must admit that when he brmms round our drive at anything between 5.00 and 7.30 a.m., I miss that quiet hum, too.


Patti (baconater) (goldengreene) | 61757 comments All we can get here is UHT milk.

I only use it for cooking, trust me.


message 15: by Jacquelynn (new)

Jacquelynn Luben (jackieluben) | 278 comments Where is that, Patti? I really dislike UHT milk.


message 16: by Anna (new)

Anna Faversham (annafaversham) | 1707 comments When we lived in Africa, we could not get fresh milk at all and only some form of UHT. I say, 'some form' because we would buy a crate of it and within a few days about a third of the packets would burst.

England's milk, any kind, tastes good to me!

I've often thought that it would be nice if they put a big collecting box next to the milk shelves and those of us who feel the farmers are squeezed by the supermarkets could donate a few pennies or more. Of course, that's a silly idea - but simple, and it sends a message.


message 17: by Jacquelynn (new)

Jacquelynn Luben (jackieluben) | 278 comments Nice idea, though.

The problem is to me that if we drive all the profit out of the dairy industry, we will end up importing milk from other countries. In a country like this, with the amount of rain we have, we ought to be self sufficient in milk.


message 18: by Jim (new)

Jim | 21938 comments We aren't entirely because of milk quotas. When they were introduced, in an effort to be 'good europeans' we accepted milk quotas even through we were a net importer (mainly cheese and butter, not milk). Of course the rest of Europe damned near took our hand off and that of course reduced our production and increased imports.


message 19: by Michael Cargill (new)

Michael Cargill Cargill (michaelcargill) | 2998 comments I thought it was because Thatcher stole it all.

That shit's expensive, yo.


message 20: by Jim (new)

Jim | 21938 comments Harold Wilson stopped school milk for 11 to 18 year olds in 1968. Thatcher finished the job

In 1954 milk was 6d a pint. (http://hansard.millbanksystems.com/co...)

Using an inflation calculator (http://www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/bi... ) it should now be 61p a pint

Currently Tesco is selling on its website four pints of whole milk for £1.
So in real terms it's a third of the price it was back then


message 21: by Jamie (last edited Jan 31, 2015 12:47PM) (new)

Jamie Sinclair | 985 comments I agree with an earlier comment that an entire generation has no idea there's any other option than supermarket milk. But I do think it's drilled into folk now to think anything other than pasteurised everything is bad for you. I can just imagine the look on the faces of my nieces if I produced a glass bottle of milk with a foil top from my local milkman which had been sitting on my front step.


message 22: by Jacquelynn (last edited Feb 01, 2015 03:23AM) (new)

Jacquelynn Luben (jackieluben) | 278 comments I'm an ex-Londoner, so I wouldn't contemplate drinking anything other than pasteurised. But that's what our milkman sells, and I don't have any close contact with cows.


message 23: by Anita (new)

Anita | 3758 comments I don't have access to anything but pasteurised, I don't drink milk anymore as pasteurised isn't nice after growing up on what I call proper milk !


message 24: by Tim (new)

Tim | 9478 comments When I was in my early teens, we used to holiday/camp in the Lake District, and the village shop sold milk direct from the local farm. That's the only time I've seen or had unpasteurised milk.


Patti (baconater) (goldengreene) | 61757 comments Jacquelynn wrote: "Where is that, Patti? I really dislike UHT milk."

Azerbaijan, Jacquie. Only got UHT when we were in Africa, too. I make a bit of a pig of myself with drinking milk when we go to the UK on holidays. Semi-skimmed tastes like ambrosia when you've not had milk in months but I really do miss dipping a cupful from the tank on the farm as I did as a kid.
Having my brotherinlaw blast me in the face from a cow's teat, not so much.


message 26: by Elaine (new)

Elaine | 148 comments We have semi skimmed. Now for 2 litres I can pay £1 from Asda or Sainsbury, but only 89p from Aldi. If I go into our village shop we pay £1.45 for 1.75 litres. Its a no brainer really.

I agree on pasta as well but I am a real cheapskate I pay the 39ishp from Aldi. Kids love what I do with it, so why pay more?


Patti (baconater) (goldengreene) | 61757 comments Food in the UK is shockingly cheap.

I paid €3.53 per kilo for fresh broccoli today. €12/kilo for beef mince. 250 ml of UHT milk is €0.57.

Decent Irish cheddar is €24 per kilo.


Patti (baconater) (goldengreene) | 61757 comments Oh and apparently a bottle of pancake syrup is €20. Not proper maple syrup, either. The crap fake stuff.


message 29: by Jacquelynn (new)

Jacquelynn Luben (jackieluben) | 278 comments Azerbaijan, Jacquie. Only got UHT when we were in Africa, too. I make a bit of a pig of myself with drinking milk when we go t..."

Goodness. It's so easy to assume, when you're talking on line that we're all together here, in one little corner of the earth. Patti, it must put a totally different perspective on some of the things going on in the UK.


Patti (baconater) (goldengreene) | 61757 comments Certainly does, that.


message 31: by Jim (new)

Jim | 21938 comments Patti (baconater) wrote: "Food in the UK is shockingly cheap.

."


It is.
By and large people get what they pay for.
As a rule wherever possible (where you have stuff with a decent shelf life) you chase export markets. So in some sectors the best stuff goes abroad.
Of course the retailers buy on price and import cheap rubbish from all over the world :-(


message 32: by Jim (new)

Jim | 21938 comments Elaine wrote: "I agree on pasta as well but I am a real cheapskate I pay the 39ishp from Aldi. Kids love what I do with it, so why pay more? ..."


Because that's how you avoid eating horsemeat when you least expect it :-)

After all, if you're buying on price, then the retailer is also buying on price, and to keep their margin they've got to grind the price down.
So the only way they can do that is use the cheapest possible ingredients and pay the lowest possible wages. Normally whilst using as many manufacturing shortcuts as they can get away with..


message 33: by Will (new)

Will Once (willonce) | 4053 comments Jim - absolutely right. Right now Aldi and Lidl are popular solely for price. The issue that is about to break is how they manage to get their prices that low.


message 34: by Jim (last edited Feb 01, 2015 06:54AM) (new)

Jim | 21938 comments with Patti's permission I'll refer to a blog I wrote at the time about horsemeat

https://jandbvwebster.wordpress.com/2...

but it makes me spit!


message 35: by R.M.F. (new)

R.M.F. Brown | 4128 comments Will wrote: "Jim - absolutely right. Right now Aldi and Lidl are popular solely for price. The issue that is about to break is how they manage to get their prices that low."

But they have damn good logistics, and of course, they don't waste that much money on shelves and stuff, compared to everybody else.

And they pay their staff well, which seems to boost their morale.


message 36: by Jim (new)

Jim | 21938 comments I'd be interested to know how much they pay on top salaries and advertising


message 37: by B J (last edited Feb 01, 2015 12:25PM) (new)

B J Burton (bjburton) | 2914 comments In 2013 Aldi spent £57m on UK advertising - 1.4% of turnover.
By comparison, Sainsbury spent £60m - 0.2% of turnover.


Lynne (Tigger's Mum) | 5862 comments I have noticed that the staffing level is minimal. I have a young relative who works in retail and she was a manager at at low cost supermarket, there were only 4 people employed there. She left when she was expected to return to her store at midnight alone to reset the alarms after an attempted robbery.


message 39: by Jim (new)

Jim | 21938 comments I've noticed with a lot of these stores that the manager does get that sort of job. A mate of mine had it where he worked. He commented that one issue that was cropping up was that because they expected a male manager to perform some role, they now automatically expect a female manager to do it as well.


message 40: by R.M.F. (new)

R.M.F. Brown | 4128 comments Jim wrote: "I've noticed with a lot of these stores that the manager does get that sort of job. A mate of mine had it where he worked. He commented that one issue that was cropping up was that because they exp..."

Which is only fair if we're going to have equality between the sexes. If a male manager is expected to get out of his bed at 3am on a winter's morning to shut off an alarm, then his female counterpart should have to do the same.


Vanessa (aka Dumbo) (vanessaakadumbo) | 8703 comments When I was in retail we had male and female key holders. They didn't used to enter the building until the police were present as some of our stores weren't in very nice parts of London. One key holder used to take his bloody great big German shepherd with him. Luckily most times it was a false alarm. The robbers we used to get came in when the shop was open with guns or knives :0(


message 42: by ✿Claire✿ (new)

✿Claire✿ (clairelm) | 3055 comments I've been a semi-skimmed fan for years. When I was younger, I didn't like the cream that came out of the top of a full fat bottle and I've stuck to semi-skimmed since. I'm sure there's a milkman that delivers near me, but I have no idea how to find out how much it would cost. I love the glass bottles with the foil tops they deliver and it would make life a little easier, especially as milk is the thing I run low on the most, especially during a run of shifts. We get milk delivered at home in Norfolk, only a couple of times a week but mainly because we feel it's a lifeline for those in the village who can't get out to the shop as easily, and would hate to see it stop. That and whoever the village shop has changed their supplier to is rubbish, it goes off really quickly.


message 43: by ✿Claire✿ (new)

✿Claire✿ (clairelm) | 3055 comments UHT is the milk of choice at work because it's cheaper and lasts longer, so we can stack it on the lockers and just open one as we need it. And it puts people off using the station milk for their cereal!


message 44: by Kevin (new)

Kevin Marsh | 618 comments We have just moved house and are pleased to discover that a milkman delivers to our village, he now delivers to my doorstep. We have always supported our local milk delivery service as its another national treasure under threat.


message 45: by Jacquelynn (new)

Jacquelynn Luben (jackieluben) | 278 comments ✿Claire✿ wrote: "I've been a semi-skimmed fan for years. When I was younger, I didn't like the cream that came out of the top of a full fat bottle and I've stuck to semi-skimmed since. I'm sure there's a milkman ..."

I don't know where you live, Claire, but try looking up 'Milkandmore' on the computer. I think if you feed in a postcode, they will tell you if they deliver to the area.


message 46: by ✿Claire✿ (new)

✿Claire✿ (clairelm) | 3055 comments Jacquelynn wrote: "✿Claire✿ wrote: "I've been a semi-skimmed fan for years. When I was younger, I didn't like the cream that came out of the top of a full fat bottle and I've stuck to semi-skimmed since. I'm sure t..."

Thanks Jacquelynn, they don't unfortunately, but I'll keep an eye out for anything similar.


message 47: by Jacquelynn (new)

Jacquelynn Luben (jackieluben) | 278 comments Best of luck, Claire.


message 48: by L.A. (new)

L.A. Kent | 4092 comments Patti (baconater) wrote: "Food in the UK is shockingly cheap.

I paid €3.53 per kilo for fresh broccoli today. €12/kilo for beef mince. 250 ml of UHT milk is €0.57.

Decent Irish cheddar is €24 per kilo."
I paid 60p for 6 carrots (medium - large) from the 'little man' up the road from our village. He has various veg + flowers on display on shelves at the bottom of his drive and you leave your money in the honesty box!


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