31 May 2000
Waitrose abolishes milk premiums
By FWi staff
WAITROSE has abolished its additional premiums paid to farmers who supply milk through the retailers Select Farm Milk Scheme.
The premiums, which were introduced in January to help support producers facing plummeting milk prices, will be withdrawn at the end of this week.
Waitrose said it had cost about 100,000 to pay its 85 suppliers the extra bonus they received on top of the Sovereign status price – the top rate paid by Unigate.
Wiltshire dairy farmer Robert Mallett said he had received about 3500 in additional bonuses during April and May because of the scheme.
“I always knew the additional premiums were a temporary measure. Waitrose have done their best and they cant be expected to continue indefinitely.”
A spokeswoman for Waitrose said: “In June the seasonality payments start so farmers will be getting a better price and will no longer need the extra support.
“We will assess the situation again when seasonality payments stop and will do what we can under the circimstances at the time.”