A platoon of tractors blocked the entrance to the Aldi distribution deport in South Marston on the evening of 13 August, in the escalating action by campaign group Farmers for Action against major British supermarket chains to pay a fair price for the milk they buy.
The second protest in Swindon has produced dividends. Earlier in the week angry farmers stripped shelves of milk in Asda at the West Swindon District Centre and Asda Walmart at the Orbital shopping park.
On Friday 14 August, following Asda’s decision to bow to the pressure of direct action and pay more for liquid milk to cover dairy farming costs, Aldi agreed to join Morrisons to pay more for milk. Asda and Aldi will pay 28p per litre, while Morrisons will pay 26p per litre, having agreed to launch a new brand called Morrisons Milk For Farmers which will sell for 10p more per litre than its standard own-brand milk, with the extra premium being paid to dairy farmers.
Farmers for Action took their protest to Asda, Morrisons, Aldi and Lidl after the chains refused to follow Tesco and Sainsbury’s in linking the price they pay for liquid milk to production costs.
Quoted on The Guardian website, Tony Baines, managing director of buying at German supermarket chain Aldi, which has its UK headquarters in Swindon, said: “Aldi has wide-ranging, long-term commitments to British farming and this new price agreement is the latest example of our support for the sector.”