Government and farmer backed organisation the Milk Development Council is to launch an investigation into the reasons why UK farm gate milk prices are consistently lower than those in virtually all other EU member states. A major international consultancy is to be appointed to carry out the investigation which will take place against the background that UK prices have now fallen again to the record low levels seen in 2000. Those levels led to a milk shortage in the autumn and winter and the largest shortfall of UK output against the annual milk quota in the year to March 2001. The aim of the study is to look at all elements in the milk supply chain from the farm gate through to the consumer. The investigation will embrace not only liquid milk but also the milk used to make dairy products such as butter and cheese. {{CANNED GOODS }}