ASDA raises First Milk cheese price by £300 per tonne

ASDA has agreed that as of 1st August 2008 it will increase the price it pays First Milk for cheese by £300 per tonne.

Jonathan Betts, ASDA's general manager for dairy commented: "ASDA has always been at the forefront of ensuring that dairy farmers receive a fair price. This £300 per tonne increase in the price we pay First Milk for cheese is aimed at reflecting farmers' increased costs, and we will work closely with First Milk to monitor the market over the coming months.

"Against the current market backdrop, it is important that milk continues to go into making cheese – helping to keep a great British tradition and rural economies going.

"We call on others in the dairy market to match this commitment to British farmers right now, especially when farmers' costs have rocketed over the last few months."

Jeff Halliwell, managing director of the First Milk Cheese Company which supplies all of ASDA's own label cheddar commented: "In our conversations with ASDA they have not only demonstrated a desire to support the dairy sector in the UK, but have also now shown some clear leadership in raising the price they pay us for cheese. It was very important for ASDA that this price increase is passed back directly to dairy farmers, and as a farmer-owned business we can deliver that. ASDA has now set a benchmark on cheese price for others in the dairy sector to follow.

"We have been speaking with all our customers individually on the need to significantly increase the price they pay for raw milk and cheese to reflect farmers costs."

Notes to editors:
First Milk are currently working with ASDA on a range of initiatives including regional cheeses with provenance, new pack format developments, and innovations to add excitement to the category.

Through its creameries in England, Scotland and Wales, First Milk is able to provide ASDA and other retailers with a range of high quality cheddars with distinctive origin.

Contact for further information:

Paul Flanagan, Group Communications Director, First Milk on 07767 241452

ASDA Press Office on 0113 241 7829