Burton and Uttoxeter Conservatives have given a guarded welcome to an announcement by supermarket chain Tesco that it will increase its milk prices for dairy farmers. Local Conservative spokesman, Andrew Griffiths, said: “It is encouraging that a chain as big as Tesco has begun to wake up to the damaging effect that such low prices are having on Staffordshire farmers, but supermarkets must ensure the money actually reaches farmers at the other end of the supply chain.”
Last month, Mr Griffiths joined farmers from across the country in presenting a petition to Downing Street, calling for an urgent inquiry into store milk prices. Calling themselves, The Great Milk Robbery, the protesters were dressed up as cows to make the case for the impact of low milk prices on dairy farmers.
Mr Griffiths, who was the Conservative Party’s advisor on farming said: “A 1.3p per litre increase at the checkout is a welcome start. My main concern is that, of the 1p Tesco will pass on to its suppliers, only a small fraction will actually reach the dairy farmer. Farmers in Uttoxeter have been hit incredibly hard by the low prices they have been getting for their milk, and it appears that the middle-man is making all the profit”
“I am glad that our message is finally getting through, but there is a great deal more to do if we are going to get a fair deal for Staffordshire’s dairy farmers. I strongly believe that the other major supermarkets must follow Tesco’s lead and offer a fair price to our farmers.”