Dairy Crest is giving away over 37,000 free pints of semi-skimmed milk as part of a new promotional campaign for its doorstep delivery service Milk & More.

Some 1,500 milkmen and women will each leave a pint at up to 25 addresses during the course of the campaign, which began at the start of May and runs until the end of the month.

A letter with the milk introduces the milkman, giving details of how long they have worked in the area and the times they deliver, and publicises Milk & More’s online grocery service.

The idea of milk being given away is likely to raise eyebrows with some farmers, but Dairy Crest milk category controller Chris Munn said the benefits of the campaign far outweighed concerns about milk being devalued. “Ultimately, we aim to secure more customers and therefore more sales of British milk.”

Feedback had so far been positive, with consumers “delighted to find the original home delivery service from the milkman was still available,” Munn added. The milkmen were making every effort to ensure the milk was taken in and not wasted by delivering early and calling back later in the day.

However, Rob Newbery, the National Farmers’ Union’s chief dairy adviser, said the free milk push showed just how damaging the supermarket milk price wars had been. “The fact that Dairy Crest are considering such promotional activity, just goes to show the damaging knock on effect of deflationary price promotions by major retailers,” he said. “The doorstep market remains important to the dairy industry and those consumers who use it. We hope business like Dairy Crest continue to find ways to keep their convenience offer relevant to the needs of the modern consumer and representing good value for money.”