Dairy Farmers of Britain has taken action to protect its milk supply following concerns its farmers could defect to competitors.

The dairy co-operative has threatened legal action against rivals who attempt to poach farmers from DFB's milk supply pool before their notice periods expire. "If breaches of contract are encouraged or assisted by others we shall take legal action against those providing such illicit encouragement or assistance," it warned in a letter to competitors from its legal department.

Suppliers told The Grocer they had been approached by DFB members.

Meadows Foods said it had been "inundated" with unsolicited enquiries, but would not look to take on farmers unless they had fulfilled their contractual obligations, claimed MD Paul Deakin.

Another supplier said it had given a similar message to farmers who it had been contacted by.