BRADFORD-BASED supermarket chain Morrisons has become the first UK retailer to sell a dairy product where part of the purchase price goes directly back to farmers.
New milk brand ‘Morrisons Milk for Farmers’ is on sale for the first time today. It sees 23p - or 10 pence per litre - from every four pint bottle being distributed to dairy farmers.
A recent Mintel study found that half of shoppers were willing to pay more for milk in order to support hard-pressed dairy farmers. Globally, farm gate milk prices are down because of a worldwide oversupply of milk.
Martyn Jones, Morrisons’ corporate services director, said: “When surveyed, many customers tell us that they are prepared to pay more for their milk to support British dairy farmers and this will be the first time that they’ll be given the opportunity to do exactly that.
“We will be giving Milk For Farmers our full support and the sales will show whether customers in our supermarkets are prepared to pay more.”
Four pints of ‘Milk for Farmers’ branded milk costs £1.12, compared to 89p for four pints of the retailer’s standard milk.
The introduction of the new product was welcomed by the National farmers’ Union, whose dairy board chairman Rob Harrison said: “We are pleased that Morrisons has acknowledged the desperate situation that many dairy farmers still find themselves in and recognise that retailers have a big role to play in, helping customers to support the UK dairy sector.
“Research from Mintel revealed over half of people who drink cows milk, would be prepared to pay more than £1 for a four-pint bottle of milk, as long as it is dairy farmers that benefit. This new initiative will enable them to do just that. The 10p a litre extra will go directly back into the dairy sector will make a difference on farm.
“It is still an extremely tough time for many dairy farmers as we move into the autumn/winter period. The NFU will continue to meet with Morrisons, other retailers, food service and food manufacturing companies to discuss how they can help achieve fair and sustainable relationships throughout the dairy supply chain for the long term.”
Morrisons stores have also begun selling ‘Morrisons Milk for Farmers Cheddar Cheese’ where 34p from every pack sold goes directly back to the farmers who supplied the milk to make the cheese.
The cheddar is available in Mature and Extra Mature Cheddar strengths and priced at £2.52 per pack (350g) or two packs can be purchase together at an offer price of £4.
According to the retailer, the percentage of British cheddar sold in Morrisons stores has increased to 99 per cent to further support the UK dairy sector.