UK - Retailer Tesco has announced extra support for struggling dairy farmers by adding new farms to its Sustainable Dairy Group.
The Sustainable Dairy Group uses prices set above the group's average cost of production by an independent consultancy, and Tesco says it has been paying farmers above the market average for the past eight years.
Now Tesco has announced the size of the group will expand by about a quarter, and that it will provide further support for young people wishing to enter the industry.
The move follows a review of the group, which Tesco undertook to adapt to changes that have taken place in the industry since the group was set up in 2007.
Tesco Commercial Director for Fresh Food Matt Simister said: "Tesco has a long and proud history of supporting British dairy farmers and we recognise the many challenges they face. We’re also committed to helping customers by providing the best quality British produce every time they shop with us.
"So it’s crucial to us and our farmers we continue to evolve the most sustainable, progressive and leading dairy group in the UK.
"By maintaining our above the cost of production model and focusing on delivering quality, value, innovation and service for our customers, we are confident it can continue to be a standard bearer for the industry."
NFU chief dairy adviser Sian Davies said: “This progressive and balanced review has given Tesco the opportunity to reflect on all aspects of their TSDG model. We believe that changes were necessary for the long term sustainability of the group and to deliver value to both Tesco and its customers."
TSDG Farmer and Committee Chairman James Stephen said: "As a lifelong dairy farmer, I’ve seen first-hand how uncertainty has impacted so many of my farming colleagues.
"This is why the Tesco Sustainable Dairy Group is so important; it provides members with the valuable security and peace of mind, which is often lacking in the increasingly volatile market. So we can focus on what matters- providing the best quality milk and standards for our customers."
TheCattleSite News Desk