Back return of doorstep pinta

Remember the pint bottle? Milkman Ernest Sheldon delivering milk in the Wincobank area of Sheffield. 2nd November 1983
Remember the pint bottle? Milkman Ernest Sheldon delivering milk in the Wincobank area of Sheffield. 2nd November 1983

There is currently much discussion in the press about cheap supermarket milk and whether shoppers prefer the cheap milk or support the British farmers.

Can I add a different dimension to this debate?

My milk is delivered late at night by a wonderful young man who has a wife and young baby, who comes out in all weathers to deliver to my doorstep.

He only delivers to me on Sundays, Tuesdays and Thursdays, but this isn’t a problem. I can get up in the morning and know that I will have milk for my cereal and my husband’s coffee. The milk comes in glass bottles – fully “recyclable” – and has the sweetest flavour you can imagine. OK, it is more expensive than the major supermarkets, but how many people does each pint (yes – PINT Britain) keep in employment?

I’d rather have this quality than the wishy-washy foreign milk in plasticised cartons that can you buy so cheaply. (An awful lot of local councils cannot/won’t recycle this type of packaging so they go to landfill. Oh, and this country isn’t complying well enough with the EU directive on recycling ...?)

If I want to, I can often get extra milk delivered, but because of the lack of demand for door-step delivery, he cannot guarantee to have any spare.

It didn’t used to be like that. I can also order a variety of other products and, especially around Christmas and New Year, I find it invaluable to be able to plan fresh juice, lovely fresh eggs and cream in advance.

Many of the local doorstep milk delivery firms provide other items such as potatoes if you ask.

Locally there are ‘retirement villages’ and other types of complexes springing up that are a fair distance from a local shop. I imagine many of those residents pay a premium to have their groceries delivered by a supermarket as they cannot carry heavy bags of shopping, as I can’t.

Here’s a thought – what about a bulk delivery of milk that is delivered to a central point with individual bills?

Any delivery charge levied would then be minimal. This gives fresh milk, easily accessible, employment for locals and dairy companies, what’s not to like in this? I’m not THAT old, but I clearly remember when just about everyone, if not everyone, had their milk delivered to their doorstep.

However I am old enough to have lived on a farm and been sent down to the milking parlour with a jug to walk back with a warm, foamy jug of exceptionally fresh milk. Mmmmmm. I didn’t get TB, mad cow disease or any of the other frightful diseases that over-processed products have been blamed for in recent years.

Has anyone looked at the ‘sell-by’ dates on supposedly fresh milk from supermarkets recently? I recently bought some that had a ‘sell-by’ date 12 days ahead. How can this be ‘fresh’? It has had so much done to it that we are pouring a myriad of preservatives into our cups of tea and children’s beakers.

And another thing – the Prime Minister has been spouting recently about how wonderful it is that the motor trade in the UK is expanding. That is superb, but far too much of it is only assembled in the UK.

This country has lost so much of its manufacturing capability that if we can support our dairy farmers, especially in view of the recent bad weather that has decimated out farming community, it would be a step in the right direction. I do not think it is xenophobic, racist or anti-European to try to support our own businesses, is it?

Please support me in supporting our local milk delivery firms. If you can, don’t buy vastly reduced price milk from supermarkets – they are currently not passing on the discounts to contracted farmers, but watch this space. (Ask the salad producers.)

Are the milk tokens made available to families on certain types of benefits able to be used with doorstep delivery? Perhaps the banks could channel some of their undeserved bonuses into funding MORE milk delivery rounds people setting up.

This would increase employment, promote small businesses and be far, far healthier for the general public.

Consumers of the UK – what do YOU think?

Liz Lawrie

Wordsworth Avenue

Bolton-le-Sands.