Robert Wiseman Dairies have reacted angrily to the formation of an independent producers group, comprised of dairy farmers from Cheshire, Staffordshire, Shropshire and North Wales.

The Independent Producer Group (IPG) has 120 members and is looking for support from Tesco supply dairy farmers, including Wiseman suppliers.

Responding to the announcement, Pete Nicholson, Director of Milk Procurement for Robert Wiseman Dairies said:

“Dairy producers contracted to supply Robert Wiseman Dairies have long been represented by the Wiseman Milk Partnership (WMP) which has a track record of constructive dialogue and delivering a premium farm gate milk price for its members.

“WMP dairy producers elect their own board, vice chairman and chairman who in turn represent the interests of all 750 producers contracted to supply the company, whether they benefit from Wiseman’s standard contract, or an enhanced contract to supply Tesco.

‘Wiseman sees absolutely no reason to recognise alternative groups which do not share this status’  

“In addition to this arrangements are being put in place to ensure close communication with Tesco for Wiseman producers who are members of the Tesco Sustainable Dairy Group.

“Given WMP’s standing as a democratic, progressive, and successful producer group, Wiseman sees absolutely no reason to recognise alternative groups which do not share this status.”