SCOTS are soon set to face a cheese shortage as costs rocket for producers, according to a farming expert. 

Paul Tompkins, vice chair of the National Farmers' Union (NFU) dairy board, has said supermarkets are already experiencing dwindling supplies and warned that things are going to get worse.

And he claimed a 50% hike in the price of milk - set to be imposed by major supermarkets next month - is likely to be permanent.

The National:

Tompkins said: “It takes me two and a half years to get a calf from being born on our farm to be actually producing milk and that incurs a lot of costs over those two years.

“Even if things were to return to normal, even if we were to reduce our costs now and be paid a fair price for milk, the implications of what we're going through now is actually going to be for the medium to longer term.

“I think it's a concern for all of those that are interested in eating some decent dairy food.

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”Margins are tight throughout the entire supply chain. I know that I'm being heaped with extra costs as a result of a whole host of factors and those are what I'm really concerned about.

“There is undoubtedly a need for conversation about fairness in the supply chain, and how the money moves from right from the shop shelf down to my farm gate.”

Price increases are being driven by the spiraling price of feed, fuel and fertiliser.

Tompkins was speaking on GB News this afternoon.

Before he spoke, dairy farmer Steve Evans from Pembrokeshire said: “The supermarkets are a little bit twitchy, and are a little bit scared about what's going on because all of a sudden, supply’s tight. Milk goes into cheese and the cheese stores and right now there is hardly any hard cheese in storage. 

“The challenges of dairy farming amid spiraling costs has already seen some farmers throw in the towel. People are sort of moving away or reducing the amount of fertiliser - we're facing a winter where feed costs are going to be through the roof.

"What are people going to do? They're going to feed less, so there's going to be less milk about to go into your doorstep delivery, to your supermarket deliveries, into the cheese factories, or into the value-added markets."