21 June 2002

Milk consumption fall

MILK consumption in the UK is declining, due to a 20% fall in tea and coffee consumption, while bottled water sales continue to grow, says a supermarket chain.

Better communication is needed between producers and retailers, said Sainsburys milk buyer Martin Phippen. "We need to share best practice, particularly with the unhealthy state of farming incomes."

Its essential that all parties in the milk supply chain have sufficient returns to invest in the future. "The industry needs to halt the fall in milk consumption."

To help boost consumption, Sainsbury is promoting milk as a low fat, healthy product and encouraging shoppers to browse. "Its a premium product, a lot of work and effort is put in to produce it. Despite this effort, bottled water fetches a higher price because it is seen as a fashion accessory, like a mobile phone."

Mr Phippen acknowledged that many producers would like to see milk prices rise in stores. &#42

It is essential that all parties in the milk supply chain have sufficient returns to invest in the future, says Martin Phippen.