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The report states that the present market does not ensure a fair price for farmers. Exceptions are made for Waitrose and Marks and Spencer ‘who have raised the price they pay for milk to a fairer and higher level than other supermarkets’.
Natalie Mitchell, Waitrose dairy buyer, said, “It is vital that retailers pay dairy farmers a price that fully reflects the costs of production and allows them to make a profit. This means they can reinvest in growing their businesses in order to make a long term contribution to the rural economy of Britain.
“With more than 60 dairy farmers in the Waitrose Select Farm milk group, our policy is to foster a long term approach to supplier relationships - we have paid our dairy farmers a premium for high quality milk since 1999.”
The Waitrose approach has received support from across the political spectrum. A total of 33 MPs have backed an Early Day Motion by Daniel Kawczynski, chair of the the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Dairy Farmers. This calls for other supermarkets to follow the lead of Waitrose and Marks and Spencer, ‘who pay a fair price for milk whereby the farmer is paid the production price for the milk produced’.
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