UK - There have been three announcements by supermarkets of increased help for dairy farmers facing a low price crisis today, following protests in stores.
Aldi announces price rise
'Big discount' supermarket chain Aldi has announced a rise in the price paid to farmers for dairy products.
The retailer matched an earlier announcement from Asda (see below) by confirming a new floor price of 28 pence per litre (ppl).
Commenting on the rise, NFU board chairman Rob Harrison said: “We welcome this first step from Aldi on milk which is in line with its recent commitments to back British farmers on fruit and vegetables. This rise must be reflected in price paid to the farmers on the ground.
“We will continue conversations with Aldi to develop its position on cheese and other dairy products.”
Morrisons sets new floor price
Morrisons has agreed to move to a floor price of 26p per litre across all liquid milk by the end of August after a second meeting with the NFU, Tenant Farmers Association (TFA) and Farmers for Action (FFA) today.
This follows an announcement on Wednesday that the supermarket would be launching a new brand of milk, which will cost an extra 10p for a four-pint bottle, with the extra money intended to go directly to farmers.
As well as the new minimum price for all milk brands, the retailer has also said that it will launch a ‘Milk for Farmers’ cheese line alongside the liquid milk line this autumn.
This cheddar cheese brand will be sold at a 34p premium to customers, which will also equate to 10p per litre going back into the farm supply base. However, the unions were disappointed that these extra costs were being passed on to consumers.
In a joint statement, the NFU, TFA and FFA said: “After our conversations today we are pleased that Morrisons has recognised the need to support the dairy sector at this difficult time.
“Further work is needed within the cheese sector and we will continue discussions with Morrisons on this issue.
"Our main concern at present is that any relief within the cheese sector is being funded by price increases to customers. We believe there is sufficient margin within cheese sales which should avoid customers having to pay more.”
Morrisons said in a statement: "This month, we will continue discussions with our cheese processor about other initiatives that will help their dairy farmers.
"We hope that this offer along with the other initiatives we have announced this week will help our suppliers to better support British dairy farmers."
Asda commits to 28 pence per litre
Supermarket chain Asda has committed to paying 28 pence per litre (ppl) for all of its liquid milk, after farmers took part in store protests against low prices.
An Asda spokesperson said: “Today, we have confirmed to our milk supplier, Arla, that we are increasing the price we pay per litre from Monday to a level that will assist our farmers during the current crisis.
“Asda’s origins are in dairy farming which is why we are acting in the best interests of our farmers and our customers by increasing the price we pay, introducing the Farmer’s Mark label and not passing on any of the costs to customers – our retail price stays the same.”
Asda’s decision to commit to paying 28p per litre for 100 per cent of its liquid milk volume throughout its entire range is a significant leap forward in recognising the true value of British dairy products, the National Farmers' Union (NFU) said today.
The retailer has committed to the new price from Monday (August 17) for the foreseeable future. It will pay 28p per litre to processor Arla, which will then be expected to pass this onto its British farmer suppliers.
NFU President Meurig Raymond said: “The NFU has been lobbying tirelessly for Asda to recognise the plight of the dairy industry so we are pleased that Asda has moved to support farmers in their hour of need.
“It is clear from Asda that this commitment is to support the UK dairy industry at a time of crisis. It is now important that Arla ensures this is delivered to British farmers on the ground, with immediate effect.
“This decision recognises that our dairy farmers need a fair price so consumers can ensure they have access to British dairy products now and in the future.”
TheCattleSite News Desk