Scottish retailers to lift restrictions on dairy products during lockdown

Following lobbying from NFU Scotland, and other Unions, the restrictions on dairy products in supermarkets are being lifted

The past three weeks have been a challenging time for all, and dairy supply chains have not been immune from the turmoil. In the past 21 days, supermarket shelves have gone from completely full to absolutely empty and in the past week the Scottish shopper has been experiencing rationing at major retailers when trying to purchase dairy products.

This move to curtail shoppers from buying dairy products seemed odd at a time when Scottish dairy farmers are desperate for some stability and consumers want to support Scottish produce.

NFU Scotland took positive action to lobby government, speak to retailers directly and write to the Scottish Retail Consortium to voice our concerns. All of which resulted in major retailers lifting their restrictions on dairy products this week. 

NFU Scotland Milk Committee Chairman, Gary Mitchell said: “I’m encouraged to announce that a number of retailers are now lifting restrictions as they begin to better gauge the changing consumer buying patterns. 

“One major retailer has just confirmed that they have completely relaxed the ‘rationing’ in place, and we look forward to seeing this rolling out in the very near future to ensure that the public can enjoy Scottish dairy products at home.”

The constantly changing milk markets and demands on the supply chain have also been closely monitored by NFU Scotland’s Milk Committee, who have been in regular contact with the other UK farming Unions and key stakeholders on the subject. 

Gary Mitchell added: “These are extremely challenging times for the Milk industry and as a result we have been working together with the other Unions and key stakeholders in building the foundations for government to assist. 

“Everybody will have seen the stories of dairy farmers down south being forced to dump milk on farm and this is something we are keen to manage appropriately in Scotland. There are no silver bullets to the current challenges that Covid-19 has brought to the sector but it is critical that we have a resilient dairy industry at the other end of this.”

“What this highlights, something the Union has been raising for some time now, is the fragility of the supply chain throughout the sector. So, it is critical we do all we can to strengthen and maintain the industry.”

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About The Author

John Swire - Deputy editor of Agronomist and Arable Farmer as well as responsibility for the Agronomist and Arable Farmer and Farm Business websites. After 17 years milking cows on the family farm John started writing about agriculture in 1998 and has since written for a variety of publications and has developed a wide circle of contacts within the industry. When not working John is a season ticket holder at Stoke City and also of late has become a fitness freak, listing cycling, swimming and walking as his exercises of choice.