Mixed reception for Morrison’s "milk for farmers" initiative

UK’s fourth biggest supermarket chain, Morrison’s, will give shoppers the option to pay 10p extra for their milk with the launch of a ‘Milk for Farmers’ brand, industry sources say. But farmer reaction has been muted.

Following Morrisons’ announcement of a ‘Milk for Farmers initiative’ NFU President Meurig Raymond said: “This is a welcome first step. We need Morrisons to make sure there is plenty of resource available to promote this product. It must also be displayed prominently in-store. We have also had discussions with Morrisons about how it can introduce further initiatives to support dairy, including cheese, butter and yoghurt. We will continue to urge Morrisons and all retailers to ensure that farmers from all sectors who supply their food get a fair price.”

NFU Scotland President, Allan Bowie said, “Without going further and addressing how it secures its whole dairy category, this announcement from Morrisons falls short of the mark in making a lasting and genuine difference to dairy farmers. Rather than tackling the urgent need to look at how it properly shares the risk and reward involved in producing fresh milk, cheese, butter, cream and yoghurts it will give consumers a blunt and uninformed choice of higher priced farmer branded milk sitting side-by-side with Morrisons own-label milk that is still being offered at loss-leading prices.”

“While we firmly believe consumers want all dairy farmers to get a fair price, that will be challenging if this is the only change Morrisons intends to make to the way it sources its dairy products. This approach falls well short of the challenge laid down by UK Unions yesterday that wholesale changes are needed across all food supply chains to ensure a fair share of risk and reward between retailers, processors and farmers while still offering consumers quality affordable UK produce. That is a challenge we have laid down to all retailers and one which we will be discussing further with them in the very near future.”

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