In no other industry would firms think it good to milk their best suppliers dry

Farmers have fought to win concessions on milk prices from the supermarkets. Illustration: David Simonds for the Observer
Farmers have fought to win concessions on milk prices from the supermarkets. Illustration: David Simonds for the Observer

Northern supermarket Booths sets a lot of store by paying farmers properly for milk, but most food retailers seem to regard the opposite as as a badge of honour.

As the row about the price of milk in Britain rages, the most sensible comments have come from the boss of northern supermarket chain Booths. “We see farmers not just as suppliers, but customers,” Chris Dee, chief executive of Booths, said last week. The northern base of the family-owned grocer is key, because Booths stores are often located at the centre of rural communities. “That means farmers have to make a profit, and we recognise that,” Dee added. “Otherwise we would be the bad guys in town.” Read more.

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