Sainsbury's CEO Justin King was a brave man to stand in front of 800 angry farmers at the NFU conference and defend his company's pricing policy on milk.

He listened to stories of dairy farmers going out of business at a rate of three a day and an accusation from NFU president Peter Kendall that he failed to understand the gravity of the milk farmers' crisis.

But King stood his ground, telling farmers they were getting a fair price. He's convinced British farmers have been slow to get off the mark when it comes to responding to consumer demand - blaming the old system of subsidies - and is insisting that the farming community do more for their money. Better prices are there to be had, but only if farmers can provide added value for Sainsbury's demanding customer, just as Caribbean banana farmers are benefiting from Fairtrade. The farmers were not convinced.

Perhaps the adrenaline went to his head for King offered to respond personally to any unanswered questions from the conference delegates. I wonder how full his inbox will be.