You can’t escape the noise issuing from the dairy industry. Lower prices have hit them, and you may be wondering: should we feel sorry for them? Or is this more bleating from one of those sectors that always manages to privatise the gains, but socialise the losses?

Here is the answer. Dairy farmers actually have been screwed, thanks mostly to a higher Australian dollar and lower-than-expected growth in milk powder sales. Prices have been cut up to 15%, on top of a tough year with little rain.