Caterers must support dairy industry

THE DAIRY Coalition will gather Friday 10. August to decide on where it goes from here in the battle on milk price.

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Speaking to, Lee Woodger, head of the NFU’s food chain unit, revealed that they had “started looking” at caterers and high street foodservice chains.


To date, the focus has been on retailers given their size and scale – Iceland, which has just 2% of the retail market sells more milk than Costa, the largest of the high street coffee stores.


Woodger explained that caterers have a crucial role to play in ensuring the sustainability of the diary farming industry, but said he was well aware of the complexity of the supply chains in the sector.


“A coffee chain with 3,000 stores will be sourcing milk in a number of different ways. I recognize the fact that it is not always easy for caterers.


“That said, this [low milk prices] is a situation that keeps recurring and the foodservice industry must play its part [to ensure fairer prices for farmers].”


Woodger also urged companies to take responsibility for their supply chains.


“This is about more than the price they pay for their milk. A caterer could be paying more for milk, but is the farmer getting a fair price? Foodservice businesses need to have their suppliers demonstrate that they are paying a fair price. This about greater transparency and greater responsibility,” he added.