There are some question marks as to how much benefit British dairy farmers will see from Morrisons Supermarket’s new scheme that is intended to support the struggling industry.
The supermarket recently launched the ‘Morrisons Milk for Farmers’ scheme, where shoppers can choose to pay a higher price for milk and cheese so more cash is passed to dairy producers. A four-pint bottle of milk costs an extra 23p, and a block of cheddar is 34p more.
However, the extra profit isn’t staying in the UK. Instead, it is being distributed between the 13,500 dairy producers across Europe who provide milk for Arla, the giant dairy co-op which supplies Morrisons with the majority of its milk.
The National Farmers Union (NFU) had asked Arla to allow all the money to stay in England but as a co-operative, it will divide the money equally among all members.
Julian Bailey from Morrisons told Co-operative News that, although the idea wasn’t a complete solution to the problems in the dairy industry, the money would still be benefiting UK farmers and the NFU had been behind the scheme.
Arla Foods includes large brands such as Anchor, and the Danish butter group Lurpak. Nicola Hedge from Arla Foods confirmed that all money is split evenly across all members of the co-operative.
She said: “Any money from any market is shared among all of our members. [UK farmers] get the benefit from the revenue of all of our business … [including] the sale of products that are made from milk within our farmer-owned business regardless of whether their milk is actually going into that product.”
- Read more about the problems between dairy co-ops and supermarkets in our report into the arrangement between First Milk and Tesco.