Tesco yogurt pledge marks latest victory for protesting farmers

By Alice Foster contact

- Last updated on GMT

Protesting farmers targeted Nisa in Scunthorpe last night
Protesting farmers targeted Nisa in Scunthorpe last night

Related tags: National farmers union, Milk

Tesco has pledged to use British milk in its own-label yogurts, as struggling dairy farmers held another protest over low milk prices last night.

Following talks with farmers’ representatives, the supermarket chain agreed to produce yogurts using domestic milk from March 2016.

Morrisons, Asda and Lidl have also agreed to pay farmers more for milk after farmers blockaded gates at distribution centres and made mass milk purchases at stores.

‘We are at war’

James Hole, from Farmers for Action (FFA), welcomed the yogurt pledge from Tesco as the latest victory in the farmers' hard-fought campaign over low milk prices.

“We are at war and at the moment. We seem to be taking the battles as we go through. The more battles we win, the better it’s going to be for the industry going forward,”​ Hole told FoodManufacture.co.uk.

A spokeswoman for Tesco said its dairy team had a “constructive meeting”​ with representatives from the FFA and National Farmers Union on Wednesday. 

“We listened to the concerns they put forward, updated them on our current plans and are committed to build on the progress we have already made to help support the British dairy industry,”​ she said.

‘Udder madness’

Last night farmers descended on a Nisa convenience store in Scunthorpe and held up banners proclaiming ‘Udder madness’ and ‘Don’t let dairy farmers go tits up’.

FFA’s Yorkshire co-ordinator Stephen Frankland said about 120 farmers came out to protest at the Nisa store last night.

“If things do not move quickly, we are going to lose a large chunk of industry, and once it’s gone it’s gone,”​ Frankland said.

At a summit this week, farmers and union representatives agreed to a series of actions that retailers and the foodservice sector should take.

The NFU said: “These include clearer country of origin labelling; clarity on sourcing policies; better, more consistent promotion of British food and, from the government, delivery of its public procurement food policy.”

Following a period of milk price reductions, the Arla Foods has announced that it is now in a position to hold its price for September due to businesss performance.

But Ash Amirahmadi, head of milk and member services, said: “We must remain cautious; the global dairy market remains volatile and it is too early to indicate whether the tide has turned because farmer milk production remains high on a global level, against a backdrop of restricted demand.” 

Related topics: Supply Chain

Related news

1 comment

General. Manager

Posted by Paul Winterton,

Farmers should be guaranteed a minimum price for their milk as a legal agreement
Their is a massive conflict of interests between supermarkets and organisations representing Farmers
THIS MUST STOP!

Report abuse

Follow us

Products

View more

Webinars