Muller said the ‘innovative partnership’ would benefit Muller Direct farmers
Lidl has announced it has agreed a three year partnership with Muller to supply its liquid milk from June 1.
Muller will supply fresh milk to the majority of Lidl stores which the supermarket said would create ‘a security of supply for British farmers across the country’.
Lidl UK’s commercial director, Ryan McDonnell, said: “We are pleased to announce a long term partnership with Muller, which will see them provide liquid milk to the majority of our UK stores.
“Our ambition as a business is to put sustainability firmly at the heart of everything we do, and by supporting growth in the British dairy farming sector, we’re taking another crucial step in fulfilling that goal.”
Andrew McInnes, managing director of Muller Milk and Ingredients said: “This long term strategic partnership has benefits for every part of the dairy supply chain, and will provide Lidl with a unique offering for its customers.
“It allows us to work closely with Lidl to drive innovation and growth in the milk and butter categories, leveraging the growing capabilities we have within our dairies.
“We are delighted that Muller Direct farmers will benefit from this innovative partnership.
“Locking a portion of their milk supply at a fixed price will significantly lower exposure to milk price volatility and we are confident that this move will be welcomed.”
Lidl said its sourcing strategy was committed to supporting UK farmers with 70 per cent of core products sourced from UK suppliers. Lidl signed the NFU’s ‘Back British Farming Charter’ in March 2017.
NFU national dairy board chairman Michael Oakes said: “On the face of it this looks like a substantial announcement by Lidl and Muller as it’s the first time a milk buyer and retailer have brought in a long term fixed price option.
“However, we need to see more detail to be able to comment further as to what this actually means as so far there is no data on the actual fixed price or fixed term.
“The NFU has been urging milk buyers and their customers to look at ways of helping farmers manage milk price volatility, as not many farmers want to ride the extreme rollercoaster that we have been on in recent years. More price stability is good for farmers, milk buyers and ultimately consumers.
“We will be meeting with Lidl and Muller in the near future to discuss this new partnership and what it means for suppliers going forward.”