Retailers Asked to Support Farmers with Grab-and-Go Milk

UK - Following a successful farmer-led campaign in Devon, NFU Scotland has written to the nation’s biggest supermarkets asking them to reposition fresh milk in their Scottish stores as a healthy alternative to fizzy drinks.
calendar icon 27 May 2016
clock icon 2 minute read

Supermarkets in Devon were encouraged by a local tenant farmer to sell one-pint cartons of fresh milk in their sandwich ‘food to go’ chillers. The response in the Tesco stores involved has been encouraging with the retailer reported to be considering a wider roll-out of the scheme.

Last week, NFU Scotland wrote to the four largest supermarket retailers in Scotland – Tesco, Asda, Morrisons and Sainsbury’s - urging them to look favourably on this pilot and urging them to explore opportunities to make fresh milk available in front-of-store convenience chillers in Scotland.

With the vast majority of Scottish dairy farmers currently receiving some of the worst milk prices in a generation, the Union is keen to see retailers look at fresh ideas to promote and sell milk and dairy products while at the same time guaranteeing that a fairer share of the margin arrives back at the farm gate.

Following the successful campaign in Devon, Milk Committee Chairman Graeme Kilpatrick has written to the supermarkets, asking them to reposition milk so that it is an attractive option to those shoppers buying a sandwich lunch or snacks.

He said: “The initiative sparked in Devon shows the potential that repositioning milk can have. As dairy farmers, we want to see shoppers given the opportunity to choose fresh nutritious milk over sugary soft drinks in supermarket chillers, selling it alongside sandwiches and snacks.

“That would be a positive development, at little or no inconvenience to supermarkets and, through the Union’s ShelfWatch work, we believe there is ample opportunity to increase the availability of convenient milk products in Scottish stores.

“Milk is already available in one pint cartons which are an ideal size for the convenience shopper and there is room for manufacturers and processors to develop new products which can build on the appeal of milk as convenient and nutritious.

“Good news in the dairy sector is currently hard to come by. The dairy farming crisis is deepening with the majority of Scottish farmers now receiving less than 19p per litre and, for some, their milk price has sunk as low as 11 or 12p.

“Many hard-working, long-established family dairy farms are under threat and this presents an opportunity to grow the market. If successful, then the key is to ensure the rewards are better shared with as many dairy farmers as possible.”

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