Morrisons in more talks with farm leaders

Farm leaders are holding further talks with Morrisons, after saying the supermarket’s new brand paying more for milk doesn’t go far enough.

Talks with supermarket representatives from Morrisons are due to resume on Friday (14 August), said pressure group Farmers For Action.

See also: Farmers react to Morrisons 10p milk price announcement

It comes after the retailer announced that it would introduce a new milk brand paying farmers an extra 10p/litre for milk from October.

Morrisons said its “Milk for Farmers” brand would be sold alongside its standard-priced, own-brand milk which is currently 89p for four pints (39p/litre).

But the additional 10p paid to milk supplier Arla will go into the whole Arla kitty – so it will be spread between 13,500 European farmers, not just Arla’s 3,000 British dairy farmers.

NFU Scotland president Allan Bowie said Morrisons’ move fell short of making a “lasting and genuine difference to dairy farmers”.

Other supermarkets are under also pressure to increase the price they pay for milk – as well as other products, including lamb.

Aldi’s distribution centre at Swindon was blockaded by tractors late on Thursday (13 August) as the dispute showed no sign of abating.

A Farmers For Action post on its Facebook page said: “Farmers for Action have talks with Morrisons… so only Morrisons are to be left alone. Fine to protest at all other retailers.”

Meanwhile, Asda has announced that the supermarket it will start paying Arla 28p/litre for milk from 1 September.

NFU President Meurig Raymond said: “It is now important that Arla ensures this is delivered to British farmers on the ground, with immediate effect.

“This decision recognises that our dairy farmers need a fair price so consumers can ensure they have access to British dairy products now and in the future.”

But Farmers For Action said the deal was “not yet set in stone” and should be treated with caution.

Any agreement should be extended to cover milk used to make cheese and processed to make other products, not just liquid milk, it said.