Müller insists it remains committed to sourcing milk for its yoghurts from Shropshire after announcing its milk operations would be merged with those of Robert Wiseman Dairies.
The company revealed on Wednesday that the 142 farmers who supply it with milk would be integrated into the 1,100-strong Wiseman pool. Farmers can transfer either to the standard Wiseman contract or its A2 premium contract, or stay on their Müller contract until their notice expires in June 2013 or June 2014.
Both Wiseman and Müller have major operations in Shropshire, with Müller’s yoghurt factory and Wiseman’s milk reload centre both in Market Drayton.
Historically, Müller has claimed it sources more than 90% of its milk from within 30 miles of its factory, and the claim still appears on its website. A spokesman said the claim stemmed from old campaigns that had not been used in some time, but added “it is important to stress that both Müller and Wiseman have a major presence in Shropshire and remain committed to dairy producers in the area.”
The announcement of the integration between Müller and Wiseman has been met with disappointment among some Müller farmers, who claim the move will leave them worse off.
Müller pays 26.9ppl at the moment, while Wiseman’s standard litre price is 26.425ppl. Both companies’ prices will become aligned from January 2013. The spokesman stressed farmers had been given a long notice period and a choice of options.