Some Tesco farmers have had enough

Posted on: 08/06/22

For almost 15 years aligned farmers have jumped the various hurdles Tesco and its consultants Promar, have put in front of them but for numerous Tesco farmers enough is enough with many now  “kicking off including the quiet ones”.


The final straw for many, judging by Ians inbox, coincided with Mullers 1st July standard liquid litre price announcement of 46ppl. Compared to the 42.35ppl with all its bells and whistles from Tesco.


The slogan Every little helps is no use to the escalating number of fed-up Tesco Muller farmers who want out asap. They need a lot of ppl Not a little and a July 1st milk price of close to 50ppl and a relaxing of some of the QVIS standards hurdles is just about the only chance Tesco has of halting the farmer revolt.


What has been described as a significant number of Tesco suppliers have allegedly failed to submit their quarterly input figures by the end of May which according to their contract results in 3 months suspension. That means they all receive the Muller Direct price of 46p for July but the harsh reality is Tesco simply can’t afford to suspend them and loose the milk. In addition, some Tesco farmers are planning to have 2 antibiotic failures or export a calf to Europe, for which they will be instantly out of a Tesco contract.


There are loud calls for Tesco farmers to hand in their notice and move to a Muller Direct or to pastures new including Arla and a heap of liquid processors who are hunting new producers. In addition to those who threw the towel in prior to the 31st May Ians sources confirm that an additional 18 Tesco farmers have either put their notice in by the 31st May or have put steps in place to exit dairy farming.

Recent changes to the Tesco QVIS System have also rattled producers who want to make it clear to Tesco that if they want to hold onto their milk, they need to relax not increase the height of the hurdles.


The system of Tesco putting the worst performing 10% on notice leaving farmers going cap in hand begging for reinstatement of their contract then reduced to 5% and has now been ditched. The claim is that all Tesco farmers now achieve the high standards so no necessity to put them under notice. That’s great spin but Tesco farmers know the real reason is Tesco fear of a supply deficit.  

Then there is the market tracker which bizarrely has been dumped by agreement. For sure the farmers who agreed to this should be held to account.

Oh, and don’t forget whilst you are been paid several pence per litre below the market price you are expected to erect bird boxes and plant 1 tree per 20 cows. Ian thought this was set up but it’s true.


So, the Tesco aligned model may have worked for almost 15 years but during 2022 the model has failed to adapt to the current exceptional circumstances and with that comes the bottom line that Tesco and Promar need a solution in the coming days and certainly in June. Failure to do so will seriously risk their supply and further dent the trust and confidence they have built up with their TSDG farmers.


If those at the top haven’t woken up and smelt the coffee the farmers have and they know the tables have turned and for once the power is in the farmers hands. It needs a model overhaul to ensure its fit for purpose because for sure it should have a valuable place and roll for all parties in the future.

Tesco need to pull a big rabbit out of the hat with a whopping 1st July farmgate price increase coupled with a serious review of which QVIS standards are relevant and which are a load of rubbish.  


One final thought why does Tesco have their farmers jump through dozens of hoops ensuring they produce milk to some of the highest standards in GB they simply sell it as “Price matched to Aldi”?

Waitrose and M & S famers produce to higher standards and use it as a successful marketing tool why can’t Tesco?