Asda has confirmed that it is to increase the amount it pays to Northern Ireland milk processor Dale Farm to 28 pence per litre in a move to help crisis hit dairy farmers.
The announcement has been welcomed by the Ulster Farmers’ Union who described it as a ‘significant development’ for the industry.
An Asda spokesperson said: “Today, we have confirmed to our Northern Ireland milk supplier, Dale Farm, that, in line with the rest of the business we are increasing the price we pay to 28 pence per litre from Monday, which will assist our farmers during the current crisis.
“Asda’s origins are in dairy farming, which is why we are acting in the best interests of our farmers and our customers by increasing the price we pay and not passing on any of the costs to customers – our retail price in Asda’s Northern Ireland stores stays the same.”
The move is based on similar liquid milk contracts in Great Britain, and it was welcomed by Ulster Farmers’ Union president, Ian Marshall, who met with local and GB representatives from ASDA this morning to discuss the delivery of their initiative.
He said: “This is a step in the right direction to ensure that consumers continue to have access to high quality locally produced food and it also recognises that farmers need a fair price to produce what consumers and retailers want. The challenge now is to extend this to other retailers and to products other than liquid milk – but it would be churlish on our part not to recognise that ASDA has set a welcome trend that we would like to see other retailers and indeed the food service sector follow,” said Mr Marshall.