ASDA ANNOUNCES GROUND BREAKINGTWO YEAR CHEESE DEAL
ASDA today (8 August 2006) announced a ground breaking two year deal, the first of its kind, with Dairy Crest and the farmers that supply milk to its Aspatria dairy.ASDA has committed to take cheese from the Cumbria-based dairy for the next two years, as well as promising to only review forward prices every six months.
No other retailer in the UK does this, meaning that the price paid for milk bought to make cheese can fluctuate making it increasingly difficult for farmers to plan ahead.
The move follows ASDA’s recent call to ‘End The Cheddar Lottery’. All its Cheddar is British and comes from the same site.
This can’t be said for other supermarkets who source from a number of countries including: Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Poland, Latvia, Ireland and Britain.
The supermarket is also encouraging others to follow its lead in supporting British farmers by sourcing from the UK and striking similar deals.
“This is the first time anyone has committed to a deal like this,” said ASDA’s head of ethical and sustainable sourcing, Dr Chris Brown.
“It’s fantastic news for the farmers that supply Aspatria and is a further illustration of our commitment to British farmers and builds on other industry-leading initiatives we are involved with, such as the ASDA Milk Partnership.”
Tom Hind, Chief Dairy Advisor National Farmers Union, said in support of the move:
“The British dairy industry needs longer term commitments to give dairy farmers confidence and this initiative is a welcome step towards achieving that objective. However, there is still much more to do and we would encourage all retailers to build relationships like this and to move away from the practice of short term tenders, which are very often for imported cheese.”
The dedicated ASDA site in Aspatria, Cumbria, which is run by Dairy Crest, currently sources 100% of its milk from the surrounding area and plays an important role in supporting the local farming community.