The arrogance of consumers.
Milk may just be milk to most of us. Milk, cheap and available. Most of us look for the cheapest price and pat ourselves on the back for finding a bargain.
Making dairy farming your career, means working 365 days a year unless you are blessed with helpful children or have enough to hire someone to help. Being a dairy farmer is jolly hard work. Yes, some have mechanical help with the main tasks of milking, but they still have to get up at the crack of dawn, and be there every single day of the year.
Most small dairy farmers are going under because they don't get enough per liter of milk produced to cover the costs. Never mind a profit for themselves.
Especially in Europe, the average worker would have a heart attack if they would have to firstly work more than 37 hours per week, have no holidays, no public holidays, no paid sick leave, maternity leave and no weekends. Secondly, if they would have to do 365 days on the trot without getting paid a reasonable wage...!
It isn't as if the farmers are asking us to pay oodles more for milk. The middle men are of course often responsible for not paying a fair and reasonable price to the farmers, but at the end of the day, it is us consumers who are responsible.
We can make a difference to dairy farmers by buying milk that we know is produced locally and also has a fair trade seal on it.
Paying an extra 10 to 20 cents more per liter of milk isn't that much if you compare it to the silly amounts of money we spend on arbitrary things such as mobile phones, trendy cappuccinos or a trip to the fast food corner.
Truthfully, I have been guilty of buying cheap milk, but will make an effort to buy with care and help in saving smaller dairy farms.