Tesco bosses will hold talks with farmers after protestors accusing the grocer of importing its dairy products blockaded two of its distribution centres.
- Tesco to meet farmers on Wednesday following blockades
- Protestors have concerns over volume of dairy products Tesco imports
- Tesco says it is part of “ongoing dialogue” with farmers
Campaigners targeted Tesco warehouses at Avonmouth and Widnes “for a few hours” on Sunday night after claiming the supermarket giant sourced milk to make cheese, yoghurt and other dairy products from outside the UK, rather than using domestic suppliers.
The action came after Asda, Aldi, Lidl and Morrisons last week agreed to increase the amount they pay farmers for milk following a string of protests. Farmers blockaded distribution centres and cleared the aisles of milk in a series of ‘milk trolley challenges’, even herding cows into supermarkets in some instances.
Tesco was not targeted in those protests because the price it pays suppliers for milk is already linked to the cost of production. But the UK’s biggest retailer has now come under fire because of the volume of dairy products it allegedly imports.
A spokeswoman for the supermarket giant said its commercial director for fresh food, Matt Simister, would meet with representatives of the campaign group Farmers For Action on Wednesday as “part of ongoing dialogue” with farmers.
She said the meeting would allow it to “listen to their concerns” over the way Tesco sources its dairy products.
The spokeswoman added: “We are aware of an incident which took place at our Avonmouth and Widnes depots last night. There was a limited amount of disruption and the distribution centres are now operating normally.”