A confession: I didn’t think they had it in them. When dairy farmers first started talking about protests, I didn’t think they’d have much of an impact. Sure, farmers were having a hard time, but so are millions of people - and even in silly season, milk stories can’t keep public interest for ever.
Instead, dairy farmers and their representatives have pulled off a clever, co-ordinated and sustained campaign, resulting in a string of retailer price commitments and - as we went to press - the first price cut reversals from processors.
“Constant, clever and co-ordinated, the dairy farmers PR campaign is a real coup”
Julia Glotz, fresh foods editor
The Grocer’s YouGov poll this week shows just how successful farmers have been in putting their plight on the public agenda, and their PR triumph raises important questions for retailers. A staggering 20% of shoppers say they will change their shopping behaviour as a result of farmer protest, but very few recognise what different retailers have done to support producers.
Farmers haven’t always communicated effectively with consumers, but here they have got it spectacularly right. Yet for the retailers - and perhaps especially the good guys - the opposite is true.