Waitrose has confirmed it pays 33.1 pence per litre of milk to its closed producer group of 100 dairy farmers.

Following increased scrutiny over supermarket relationships with dairy producers, and a national newspaper campaign by Sainsbury’s which flagged up its support for British dairy farmers, a statement published today (26 January) confirmed that Waitrose paid farmers the equivalent of 75.2p for four pints of milk.

Described by Waitrose as a “fair and leading price”, the figure paid to farmers was second only to M&S according to data cited by Sainsbury’s last week, and took into account “the cost of production and investing in programmes to strengthen farm resilience”. 

The average cost of production is currently 68p for four pints of milk (the equivalent of 29.96ppl).

Waitrose commercial director Mark Williamson said it was “important our farmers receive a fair price that gives them a sustainable return”, while the retailer had built “mutual trust and understanding” with its farmers through long-term relationships. “Farmers are the key to a thriving agricultural economy and it is important they receive a sustainable return for the top quality milk they provide,” he claimed.

“To set a fair price we collaborate closely with our farmers, meeting regularly to share the details of the cost of production,” added Williamson. “Waitrose is consistently at, or very close to, the top of the league table for the price our farmers receive for their milk and this has been the case for many years.”