More dairy farmers unsure of their future

17 Jan 2024

Almost a third of British dairy farmers are unsure of their future within the sector, according to a survey carried out by the NFU. The ‘Dairy Intentions Survey’ of 600 dairy farmers, which was carried out in July 2023, found that 9% believed they would stop producing milk by 2025, up from 7% in 2022. A further 23% said they were unsure if they would continue to produce milk beyond 2025. Smaller enterprises, producing less than 1 million litres of milk per year, are more likely to stop production than those producing higher volumes.  


Of those ceasing production, a third (36%) are doing so due to retirement, while over half (52%) are unable to keep up with the scale of investment required to stay compliant with regulations, such as around slurry storage.  


Dairy farmers are facing a number of pressures, including high inflation and soaring energy, input and labour costs, combined with low prices for milk. The survey found that specific concerns were the effect of government regulation, feed prices, energy prices and cash flow and profitability. Almost three-quarters (74%) saw access to labour as a barrier, with the NFU calling on the Government to add ‘dairy technician’ to the Shortage Occupation List to help address the issue. 


The NFU claims that the sector is experiencing a ‘crisis of confidence’, with figures from the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) indicating that in 2023, the number of dairy farmers in the UK has fallen to 7,500, a year-on-year decline of 4.8%. The NFU has called for the Government to support the sector with industry-wide regulation to ensure fairer and more transparent supply chains. 


Read more about the report here: and 

Logo Icon

Subscribe To Our Quarterly Newsletter

Sign up with your email address to receive a quarterly roundup of industry news, insights, tips and success story’s from the world of Tax, Accountancy and Business Strategy.


"*" indicates required fields

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Get in Touch

We love meeting new, exciting businesses. Get in touch with our team to see how we could enhance and protect your financial position.

Or if you’d prefer to speak to someone directly just give us a call on: 08000 664 664 or email:

"*" indicates required fields

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Want to talk to someone?

Give us a call on
08000 664 664

Email us on

WR Partners office locations
View Locations

We are a leading firm of accountants, auditors, and tax specialists who help businesses protect their wealth and generate profit.