EU Milk Board Let Down by Retailer Inaction

EU - European retailers are failing to support dairy production and processing, despite continued pledges from leading chains in the bloc about price commitments, claims one farmers’ lobby group.
calendar icon 3 March 2009
clock icon 1 minute read

Sieta van Keimpema, vide president of the European Milk Board (EMB), told that farmers and processors were being short changed by major supermarket groups that continue to profit at the same time suppliers struggle to cover costs, writes Neil Merrett.

According to, earlier in the week, UK-based supermarket group Sainsbury's announced it was extending cooperation with national dairy manufacturers and cooperatives like Dairy Crest and Wiseman’s to source own label cheese, milk and cream from British suppliers.

The retailer, which owns hundred of supermarkets across the country, said that the extension reflected plans for further investment into the UK supply chain.

While the move was cautiously welcomed by the National Farmers’ Union (NFU), the EMB says that it remains disappointed with retailers across the bloc failing to ensure farmers can meet their own costs.

Van Keimpema claims that despite major retailers professing concern for protecting supply across the industry, all supermarket chains were refusing to support a ‘fair-trade’ style of milk and dairy pricing.

“We are going through a very hard crisis in the dairy sector, our milk prices have fallen back 50 per cent since December 2007,” she told the news organisation. “Our costs however, have not fallen. What we also see, is that the profits of the retailer have risen in the same period.”

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