31 March 2000

Sainsbury meeting

SEVEN NFU county chairmen from three regions, and two chairmen of NFU regional milk focus groups met senior Sainsbury staff on Tuesday to impress on them the dire straits milk producers are in.

Wilts NFU chairman Peter Gantlett organised the meeting, with help from HQ, because of growing dissatisfaction with the NFU and to break the deadlock between the "blockaders" who wanted to meet Sainsbury, and Sainsbury which refused to meet them. They told Sainsbury that further pressure on milk prices would force more dairy farmers out of business, possibly jeopardising the nations milk supply and certainly jeopardising landscape maintenance by farmers.

"We also looked at cost-plus and open-book accounting-something we came across when we met the motor industry last autumn", said Mr Gantlett.