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UFU Comments On Sainsbury Dairy Supply Chain Initiative

03 August 2009

EU - The Ulster Farmers’ Union says Sainsbury’s decision to introduce a supply chain initiative in the dairy sector is evidence that it is possible to generate better returns for local milk producers, who have endured a financial crisis created by a collapse in farm gate milk prices.

UFU Deputy President John Thompson said: “We have been urging retailers to release more revenue back into the dairy supply chain to safeguard the future of local dairy farms which have been enduring unsustainable losses.

Recently the EU Commission highlighted that while there has been a 34 per cent drop in milk and dairy prices since the end of 2007, the equivalent drop in consumer prices during the same period was only two per cent.

"We will continue our campaign to see fair play in the dairy supply chain; profits are being generated on liquid milk sales but the benefits have not been shared with producers”.

The UFU also commented on Sainsbury’s decision to move forward with a select group of farmers dedicated to supplying the retailer.

Mr Thompson said: “We believe the concept of farmers having a more direct link with the retailer is the right direction to take the industry. However, the UFU’s objective via our Dairy Roadmap is to secure this extra revenue from the supply chain for distribution across all producers who supply those processors and retailers. This would generate an improvement in circumstances for all producers and would be less divisive.”

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