Supermarket chain Morrisons says it is looking at its milk buying policy to see whether it can improve the way it supports farmers.

The news comes amid an increasing number of protests over cuts that have seen up to 4p per litre slashed off farmgate milk prices.

A Morrisons spokesperson said: “We completely understand that there is an issue here and we are looking at it to see whether there are other models that we can use that better support farmers.

“For Morrisons any solution has to support the whole industry.

“That’s why we pay a 1 pence per litre premium to our processors which is shared across all farmers without a dedicated contract.

“We don’t engage in the postcode lottery where a few farmers are paid more than the rest.”

The comments came as farmers and consumers stepped up pressure on retailers to stop paying less than the cost of production for milk.

Dozens of dairy farmers descended on the Morrisons supermarket at Welshpool on Monday (16 July) to picket the retailer in protest at price cuts.

Farmers carried placards and and handed out leaflets to consumers explaining why they felt certain retailers – including Morrisons – were failing to support dairy farmers.

NFU Cymru dairy board vice-chairman Jonathon Wilkinson said farmers across the country were losing money with every drop of milk they produced.

“We have united here today to voice our concerns,” he said.

“We have come here today because Morrison’s, like Asda and the Co-operative, don’t ensure that dairy farmers supplying liquid milk get a fair price, they do not even ensure that their farmers get a price that covers the farmer’s cost of production”.

Mr Wilkinson said retailers and processors had to take responsibility for delivering a sustainable supply chain that ensured all parts of the chain could make a profit.

“Today’s demonstration is about educating the consumer as to why we feel certain retailers are failing to support dairy farmers and what consumers can do to help.

“We hope as a result of our actions today consumers will ask retailers what they are doing to ensure dairy farmers receive a fair price for their milk.”

Before the protest, more than 100 farmers met with local MP, Glyn Davies, at Welshpool livestock market to impress on him the need for a robust code of practice and fair contracts for farmers.

The NFU has called for legislation to ensure contracts are fair. But farm minister Jim Paice has dismissed the suggestion, insisting that a voluntary approach can work better.

More on this topic

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