The UK’s largest independent processing dairy has announced a significant drop in its milk price due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Freshways, a dairy processor which supplies hotels, airlines and the food industry, will slash their milk price by 2p per litre.
The Acton-based firm has seen declining demand due to Covid-19's hard impact on the hospitality and food service sectors.
In correspondence sent to farmers on Wednesday (18 March), Freshways also said they will not process any March milk payments until 15 May.
Farmers and those in the wider industry have taken to social media to react to the news in disbelief, calling the move a 'disaster' for producers already under 'extreme pressure'.
#freshways dairy producers being told to dump milk? 2ppl cut and March milk not getting paid till may. Disaster— George Thompson (@gethompsonfarm) March 19, 2020
Lots of local farmers supplying Freshways under extreme pressure.— Richard Bower BSc (Hons) PgC. (@rich_bower) March 19, 2020
Farmers, who supply other milk buyers will be hit, as their price is based on the market average!
Supermarket shelves are empty and the country needs feeding.
Farmers are here to help, don’t take advantage! ?????? https://t.co/GVBBMbwi5a
I'm disgusted at @freshways actions. Many People will make note of how businesses behave during this, and then shop accordingly after.— claire jenkins (@dinkypinkygirly) March 19, 2020
Heard today that freshways have cut price by 2p and no payment to be made till May...!!! Outrageous, with other price drops reported too ????— Dewisland Simmentals (@DewislandSimms) March 19, 2020
One of our farmers has been told to tip his milk away and won’t be paid possibly for the next 4 weeks!— sarah tomlinson (@sjtomo157) March 19, 2020
Freshways is the UK’s largest independent processing dairy with distribution centres in London, Cardiff, Manchester, and Leicester.