Letter of the week: a fair price for farmers

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I have been asking around on Twitter and a dairy farmer sent me the following prices paid by supermarkets to farmers.

M&S pays 31.93p per litre, Saisbury’s 30.5p, Tesco 29.56p, Waitrose ‘over 29p’, Morrisons 25.92p, Co-op 25.73p, Asda 25.5p, Dairy Crest 24.92p, Wiseman 24.73p and Arla 24.5p.

The cost to farmers of producing milk is 29 to 30p per litre.

So while in town today I decided to check out some retail prices.

At M&S it’s £1.18 for 2.272l (4pints) or 51.94ppl - a mark-up of 20ppl.

ASDA charges £1 (‘Rolled Back’ from £1.18) for the same, so that’s 44ppl - a mark-up of 18.5p.

Because Asda pay below what it costs to produce the milk I tried to see If they would sell me a 4pint carton for 58p (the cost to them)

Me: “Can I buy this for 58p please?” Puzzled Asda assistant proceeds to scan barcode - “No sir it’s £1.”

Me: “Why not? It only costs Asda 58p.” Assistant: “But we have costs and need to make a profit!”

Me: “That’s only right and proper in a free market. It’s a shame Asda does not think milk producers should have the same rights to make a profit.”

At which point the “it’s head office, blah blah” corporate gobbledegook started, so I left and returned to M&S to do my shopping.

Please publish the price list so your readers can make an informed choice of where to buy milk based on how the big retailers treat our dairy farmers.

Your excellent article has made me think about the whole milk supply chain and I’m now looking into buying direct from the farm gate.

Kevin Marriott,

Packwood Avenue, Rugby.