Tesco is to pay the costs of organic inspection and technical support for all existing and new organic dairy farmers in its supply chain for the next three years as a part of its commitment to develop the sector.
The financial support aims to build long term relationships across the supply chain, encouraging new product development to help increase the availability of British organic milk. Demand for organic dairy products is growing in Tesco stores by 45%, year on year in the UK.
Under the scheme, every new and existing organic dairy producer member of the Organic Milk Suppliers Cooperative (OMSCo) will receive around GBP 400 (US $758.6) a year for the next three years, covering the cost of inspection and technical support.
The move is designed to demonstrate Tesco’s support for the British organic dairy industry and will help offset some of the cost of conversion to organic.
Tesco recently confirmed a new long-term supply partnership with Robert Wiseman Dairies that brings organics into line with current standard milk supply, making the supply chain more efficient.
Kari Daniels, trading director for chilled food at Tesco said: “Organic milk sales are showing tremendous growth, and in order to secure UK supply for our customers it is essential that we support the next generation of organic dairy producers.
“Although we buy our milk from processors and traditionally have not had a direct relationship with individual farms, this payment is one way we can directly support organic farmers and ensure we are working together more closely.
“We want to stimulate dialogue at a local level and make sure that there is a link between our customers, our suppliers and dairy producers wherever they are in Britain.
“We will be focusing on innovation and bringing new British products to the market, like our recent launch of 250ml cartons of organic milk aimed at lunchboxes.”
Nicholas Saphir, executive chairman of OMSCo said. “This announcement is a huge boost for organic dairy producers, and we are delighted that Tesco has chosen to develop this initiative with OMSCo. This significant step will ensure that OMSCo producers will have the confidence to invest in more production to meet the increasing demand from Tesco’s customers”.
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