Archive for December, 2007

Cheesey problem

December 29, 2007

Well I was in the local shop yesterday and I fancied a bit of an old cheese sandwich for lunch. I had 3 items in my hand only and was taken aback when the Adrian Mole lookalike at the till asked me for €11.00. I asked him to check and he told me that the 400 gram block of cheese in my recycled plastic bag was setting me back a cool €5.00.

So on my walk home I worked out that I had just paid out €12.50 a kilo for mild cheddar cheese. That’s shocking is it not? Work it back to your money folks. It’s £8.50 a kilo (that’s probably about $20.00) I must be getting ripped off surely so I checked

The prices, after staying very steady for the last 5 years, indeed have rocketed since August 2007 and a retail price hike of nearly 30% has resulted. Had anyone else noticed? Or do I eat too much cheese if it was that obvious to me?

As it turnes out the stats below bear out the increases BUT based on UK rates I should only be paying £6.08 per kilo or €9.00. Rip off Ireland we say over here, and it seems I’m being done for an additional 40% on the cost of my favourite food

Look at the shocking increase in the graph below from August 2007 onwards…..

Taken from the Milk Development Council Website

UK Dairy Product Retail Prices

English Mild Cheddar is over £1,300/t higher (+27%) than prices of only four months ago, with most major retailers now showing similar prices. But the price increase in Budget Cheddar varies between £500/t and £1,200/t over the same period (and may mean that all the price increases have not fed through to supermarket shelves yet). Mature Cheddar prices were unchanged in December after moving downwards in November with prices up by only £120/t since August.

Retail prices for liquid milk increased in September and are over 20% higher than a year ago. Doorstep prices remain at about 50p per pint, although there have been rumors of an increase in the price of doorstep milk. Fresh cream prices were increased in September and again in November by varying amounts from one retailer to another. Overall the increase was close to the change in English butter prices. Prices are some 43% higher than a year ago.

The retail price of butter also went up in September and November, but there was a slight downward adjustment for Country Life butter in December. Country Life prices have increased by some £1,200/t since August, but Anchor and Kerrygold prices have risen by £1,700-2,400/t, once again leaving Country Life as one of the cheapest branded butters.



1 month before
12 months before
Liquid milk, 4 pint polybottle
Doorstep milk (1 pint)
Fresh Double Cream, 568ml
Butter, Country Life, 250g pack
Butter, Anchor, 250g pack
Cheddar, English Mild, own label (250g pack), price per kg
Cheddar, English Mature, branded, price per kg

Source: Various

UK Retail Prices

Well the reason given in the business world is a huge increase worldwide in the demand for milk products. The rise in price however is pushing down the turnover, we aren’t buying it. What I don’t fully understand is; with all the market research out there on the web that costs nearly a grand just to access; how the demand increase was not forseen and production boosted in advance? Bad business, or profiteering?

As a side issue for your thoughts, if we have to increase hugely the dairy herds to cater for the worldwide demand are we not simultaneously killing ourselves by increasing the greenhouse gases (methane) produced from the cows. How do we solve this one lads?

I will offer to eat one less cheese sandwich a week if it will help

Perhaps we could send rockets to the moon to bring back the cheese instead of increasing the number of cows?

Any thoughts people of the cheese world?


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