Tesco helps to deliver a stronger future for British dairy farmers

4 Nov 2015

Tesco has today announced its first and biggest farming group, the Tesco Sustainable Dairy Group (TSDG) will be expanding to support even more of Britain’s dairy farmers.

Tesco has today announced its first and biggest farming group, the Tesco Sustainable Dairy Group (TSDG) will be expanding to support even more of Britain’s dairy farmers. 

Already the largest group of its kind, Tesco has confirmed the number of dairy farms from across the UK it will have direct relationships with could increase by around a quarter. The supermarket will also look to foster and mentor fresh talent, by creating a new platform for new and young farmers wishing to enter the dairy industry.

The Dairy Centre of Excellence will provide practical support for Tesco dairy farmers and opportunities to share knowledge and expertise with other farming colleagues from across the country, in order to improve animal welfare and encourage innovation.

Following discussions with famers, processors and industry experts, Tesco has just completed its first ever review of the TSDG in order to adapt to the significant changes that have taken place in the dairy industry since the TSDG’s inception in 2007. 

The outcome of the review has cemented the TSDG’s position as an integral part of how Tesco partners with British Agriculture and serves its customers.  

Tesco Commercial Director for Fresh Food Matt Simister said: ‘Tesco has a long and proud history of supporting British dairy farmers and we recognise the many challenges they face. We’re also committed to helping customers by providing the best quality British produce every time they shop with us. 

‘So it’s crucial to us and our farmers we continue to evolve the most sustainable, progressive and leading dairy group in the UK. 

‘By maintaining our above the cost of production model and focusing on delivering quality, value, innovation and service for our customers, we are confident  it can continue to be a standard bearer for the industry.’

TSDG Farmer and Committee Chairman James Stephen said: ‘As a lifelong dairy farmer, I’ve seen first-hand how uncertainty has impacted so many of my farming colleagues. This is why the Tesco Sustainable Dairy Group is so important; it provides members with the valuable security and peace of mind, which is often lacking in the increasingly volatile market. So we can focus on what matters- providing the best quality milk and standards for our customers’.

All of the revisions to the TSDG will be initiated by the 1st February 2016.

Notes to Editors 

  • The TSDG was established in 2007 to address the uncertainty facing British dairy farmers caused by volatility in the markets. It comprises of around 600 farmers who supply Tesco directly with own-brand fresh and filtered milk products and share Tesco’s aim to deliver the best quality milk possible for customers. The TSDG pricing mechanism ensures that Tesco pays a price for the milk that is buys that reflects at least the cost of production to dairy farmers, helping them to invest and plan for the future.
  • New members of the TSDG will from the supplier base of Tesco’s processing partners -Muller Wiseman and Arla.
  • The core principles of the TSDG have always been to

- Have a transparent and clear pricing mechanism, using an independent cost tracker

- Pay a fair price for our milk and reward those who help us to deliver the best quality milk for our customers and the highest animal health and welfare standards

- Ensure that we have a sustainable approach to the dairy industry.

  • The price Tesco will pay its British dairy farmers for milk will follow a regular three-monthly review of production costs. The price will be set using the independent consultancy-Promar- to make sure that price paid by Tesco reflects above the average cost of production of the TSDG group. That price, agreed in collaboration with farmers, will then be set for three months and is completely independent from the retail price for milk.  Customers can be assured that every pint of own-brand milk they buy from Tesco supports a TSDG farmer, helping to deliver a sustainable future for the British dairy industry.
  • For eight years, Tesco has been paying dairy farmers more than market average:

graph showing price paid

  • The current price Tesco pays farmers is  30.58ppl, which includes the Promar 0.5ppl  for all Tesco own-brand fresh & filtered milk (1, 2, 4, 6 pint and 1 and 2 litre – excluding organic milk); single, double & extra thick double cream (150, 300, 600 ml) products and mature & extra mature cheddar. Until the 28th February 2016, Tesco brand Mild & Medium Cheddar, Red Leicester & Double Gloucester Cheese will receive 29.58ppl, which will be reflected in the cheese price paid to the processor.
  • Tesco dairy farmers must adhere to the nationally recognised Red Tractor assurance scheme, as well as additional Tesco welfare standards, to improve cow health and welfare. • The Tesco Dairy Centre of Excellence works to encourage innovation and improve the knowledge and understanding of dairy production within the industry.
  • Additional support Tesco provides British Agriculture includes: 
  • Sustainable farming groups in lamb, beef, chicken, pork, eggs, potatoes
  • Providing support for UK agriculture, with the development of a joint initiative with Anglia Famers - the ProducerClub.  The club delivers support for the day-to-day running of farms and an unrivalled combination of savings and benefits
  • Championing young farmers in British agriculture, offering a 12 month package of training, business planning, advice and supply chain experience through the Future Farmer’s Foundation.
  • An agriculture team, which works alongside a single product team responsible for the entire lifecycle of products.
  • A Supplier Helpline, where any issues raised by farmer, growers and producers are aimed to be resolved within 48 hours

For more information please contact the Tesco Press Office on
01992 644645

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