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Tesco offers boost to organic milk suppliers

Date Published: 26/10/2006

Farmers supplying milk to Tesco are being offered inspections and technical support paid for by the retailer over the next three years.

The new package will apply to both new and existing suppliers who work with OMSCo (The Organic Milk Suppliers Cooperative), which includes Organic Farmers & Growers’ licensees.

Tesco said the aim was to help offset the costs of converting to organic production, while at the same time encouraging innovation and product development.

Support for the organic dairy sector, including initiatives by Sainsbury’s, is aimed at boosting the supply of organic milk, which is currently falling below UK demand.

Under the scheme, producer members of OMSCo will receive around £400 per year for the next three years, covering the cost of inspection and technical support.

Tesco said demand for organic dairy products was growing by 45 per cent year on year in its stores.

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.”

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.”