Barbara Crowther, Director of Policy and Public Affairs at the Fairtrade Foundation, comments on the ongoing milk price war.
Commenting on Rebecca Smither's article Sainsbury's cuts price of milk to match discounters Aldi and Lidl in the Guardian, 26 June 2015, Barbara Crowther, said:
“The important thing in this story is that Sainsbury's is protecting the price of the milk for the farmers who supply them. The troubling issue is whether all supermarkets do the same in the middle of such price wars. The government never intervenes in these wars, as long as prices go down not up - so who is protecting the suppliers?
“The recent report of the Grocery Code Adjudicator ie. the Government's supermarket watchdog, says that 75% of over 1000 suppliers to supermarkets have experienced breaches of the code of practice in the last year. Late payments for goods, and changes to terms and conditions in supply agreements were the most common issues cited. Aldi, Sainsburys, M&S and Waitrose treat their suppliers better than other supermarkets, according to this survey.
“However the GCA has absolutely no mandate to tackle overall price wars and pricing trends, as the Fairtrade Foundation's report Britain's Bruising Banana Wars pointed out. A pint of milk - or a banana - is a healthy nutritious part of our everyday diets, and we should value their production, and pay a price that supports farmers, large or small, to produce them sustainably and to high social and animal welfare standards.”