Milk is cheaper than water in many supermarkets as a result of a price war that has seen milk sold for as little as 22p per pint. The record low price was achieved by Asda selling four pints for 89p, but most other supermarkets were charging no more than £1 for four pints, less than they charged for bottled water.
The supermarkets insisted that dairy farmers were not suffering as they received a guaranteed price.
This is disputed by farmers. The number of dairy farms in England and Wales has halved in a decade to just under 10,000. The number of dairy cattle has fallen by only 7% to 1.8 million animals, as dairy farms have become larger.
Farmers are typically paid 20p a litre, the lowest price since 2007. During that period, farm costs have risen by 36%. The largest single cost, animal feed, is 50% higher.
First Milk, a dairy co-operative, announced in January 2015 that it was delaying payments to farmers by two weeks to ease a cashflow problem.