Milk production in the UK has fallen to the lowest level in 37 years, the National Farmers Union of Scotland has warned.

“Prices are so low that milk producers are going out of business, and that’s why we have a milk shortage,” a spokesperson for the farmers’ union told just-food. “Farm-gate prices are not reflecting the massive increase in costs that we have witnessed over the past year.”

According to the union, farmers have seen feed costs more than double in recent years.

Milk production has fallen 6.4%, dropping to 13.2bn litres, as hundreds of dairy farmers have left the industry, the NFUS said.

“Prices on shelves do need to increase to take into account increasing costs. But the real problem is where the margins go – who is hanging onto profits in the supply chain. If retailers took a smaller cut, prices paid by consumers wouldn’t need to increase all that much,” the NFUS spokesperson said.

According to the NFUS, milk consumption in the UK has risen 3% in the past year.