Defending the rights of small dairy farmers


Chris Loder MP appeals to farmers to get in touch if supermarkets are abusing their power

Government to protect small dairy farmers from predatory supermarkets

  • MP speaks in the House of Commons to support small dairy farmers who are manipulated by predatory supermarkets
  • Sainsbury’s PLC threatens to tear up dairy farmers’ contracts unless 20% of calves are sold
  • Dairy farmers livelihoods at risk if they refuse to agree new terms

Chris Loder, MP for West Dorset, has spoken in Parliament to support small dairy farmers who are at risk from predatory supermarkets.

In the House of Commons on 10th September, during questions to the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, the MP highlighted that Sainsbury’s PLC, one of Britain’s ‘big four’ supermarket chains, has threatened to tear up the contracts of small dairy farmers in Dorset who supply them with milk; if they refuse to sell Sainsbury’s a certain percentage of their calves.

The MP says: “This is an abuse of Sainsbury’s dominant market position. I have asked the Government to support me in defending the rights of small dairy farmers across the country, who are effectively being held to ransom by these predatory supermarkets.

“I am pleased that the Secretary of State has agreed to meet with me to look at this matter in detail and that, through the Agriculture Bill, Government can go further on this. I look forward to farmers’ contracts with supermarkets being better protected in future”.

Neil Parish, MP for Tiverton and Honiton and Chair of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (EFRA) Select Committee, supports the call for fairer milk contracts, saying: “The Government must keep a close eye on what is happening in the dairy sector to ensure farmers are paid a reasonable price. I know, having spoken to the Farming Minister, that she shares our concerns and one of her top priorities is reforming and strengthening milk contracts for our farmers”.


See Chris Loder's question in the House of Commons on 10th September 2020 at: