Milk ‘culprits’ named and shamed, including the Co-op

by Michael Smith (Veshengro)

A name-and-shame campaign targeting supermarkets that sell milk supplied by farmers paid less than the cost of production is spreading across the internet, and not before time.

Dairy Demo ALL.indd The "Back Our Dairy Farmers" poster produced by the NFU has been shared more than 3,000 times across social media networks Facebook and Twitter.

"It's time to back our dairy farmers," the poster says. "It's a shame that Asda, Morrisons and the Co-operative don't."

From 1 August 2012, dairy farmers supplying milk to Asda, Morrisons and the Co-operative will receive less than the cost of production, the poster adds.

The NFU is urging its supporters to download the poster.

The founders of the Co-operative would be turning in their graves if they but knew what the organization, which is supposed to have social principles, has turned into.

As far as Associated Dairies, which became ASDA, is concerned it is another co-operative organization that has gotten too big for its boots and as far as the cutting the price they are paying for milk from farmers is concerned it is not surprising from a company that is now owned by one of America's most hated employer.

If we really want to support our dairy farmers then we will vote with our feet and that vote can bring those that misbehave to their knees and senses.

Tesco, Sainsbury's, Waitrose and M&S are not being targeted by the NFU because they operate pricing mechanisms based on the cost of production (COP), rather than the market price. But some farmers have warned that COP models can be misleading.

Sainbury's is leading the field among those few companies that do not undercut the farmers and have, according to a Sainsbury's statement, gone further even an pay well above the cost of production.

While ASDA waffled on about how much they are supporting “their” farmers a Co-operative spokesperson said that purely at price as a means of gauging our support for farmers is misleading. That's one way of trying to wriggle out of the issue. Morrisons never responded at all.

As consumers we can make a difference and if we want to continue to have liquid milk, and other dairy products from the UK, then we better switch, at least for our milk and dairy product purchases, to supermarkets that support our farmers.

The fact is, despite what some in the processing industry and retail will tell us, that if British dairy farmers are put out of business that is the end of fresh liquid milk in British stores, period. It is down to us to prevent that from happening.

I thus urge readers who wish to support the British dairy farmer to download the poster and put it up wherever they can and also to post it on as many social websites as possible.

A selection of NFU "Back Our Dairy Farmers" campaign can be found here. For social media use please help yourself to the picture in this article.

© 2012