Müller Milk & Ingredients and Lidl UK have launched the Grassroots Dairy Partnership, which aims to ensure a sustainable end-to-end dairy supply chain from grassroots through to the consumer.
The partnership will see Lidl launch an ambassador training programme which will offer bespoke training to young dairy farmers, including workshops on how to achieve lean and effective processes, and the opportunity to engage with Lidl’s senior management teams to enhance their knowledge of the retail industry.
The new partnership follows Lidl’s commitment last year to offer a fixed-term price deal to dairy farmers in the UK, with the retailer claiming that it covers all of the elements necessary in building and securing a sustainable dairy sector, including transparent sourcing, animal welfare, and protection of the environment.
Lidl’s ambassador programme has been formed in conjunction with Müller’s Direct Next Generation training scheme, which was launched by Müller last year to help the next generation of dairy farmers establish their own businesses in the UK.
Rob Hutchison, milk supply director at Müller Milk & Ingredients said: “We are delighted to further build our long-term strategic partnership with Lidl, working together to deliver benefits for the whole supply chain, from consumer to farmer.
“The ‘Müller Direct Fixed Price Contract’, introduced in 2018 with support from Lidl, is already providing dairy farmers with real security and confidence for the future.
“The other initiatives we will now work on together will be focused on tackling additional challenges including greater use of recycled plastics, reducing food waste and water use, and further strengthening dairy farming businesses.
“Müller now has the most comprehensive, well-invested network of dairies in the UK and we aim to work in partnership with key customers like Lidl so that they can offer consumers a distinctive fresh milk proposition.”
Lidl UK’s commercial director Ryan McDonnell added: “Following our announcement last year, we’re excited to be launching this partnership and working with Müller to help secure a supply chain that will safeguard the long-term viability of dairy farming in the UK.”
“As a business, we are committed to supporting sustainable growth in the British dairy farming sector, and through our new ambassador programme, we look forward to cultivating the relationships we have with young farmers across the country.”
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