Scottish retailers to lift lockdown restrictions on dairy products

Supermarkets are beginning to lift restrictions on dairy products following pressure from the farmers’ union in Scotland.

The past three weeks have been a challenging time for all, and despite high demand from shoppers, the dairy supply chains have not been immune from the turmoil.

Over the last few weeks, several Tesco stores have limited shoppers to just one bottle of milk each time they shop, while Sainsbury’s limited shoppers to two bottles at a time.

Meanwhile, some processors have slashed their milk prices and asked farmers to dump their milk as the shutdown of the hospitality sector wipes out foodservice orders.

NFU Scotland lobbied the Government, spoke to retailers directly and wrote to the Scottish Retail Consortium to voice its concerns.

All of which resulted in major retailers lifting their restrictions on dairy products this week.

NFU Scotland Milk Committee chairman, Gary Mitchell said: “I’m encouraged to announce that a number of retailers are now lifting restrictions as they begin to better gauge the changing consumer buying patterns.

One major retailer has just confirmed that they have completely relaxed the ‘rationing’ in place, and we look forward to seeing this rolling out in the very near future to ensure that the public can enjoy Scottish dairy products at home.

“These are extremely challenging times for the milk industry, and as a result, we have been working together with the other unions and key stakeholders in building the foundations for government to assist.

“Everybody will have seen the stories of dairy farmers down south being forced to dump milk on-farm and this is something we are keen to manage appropriately in Scotland.

“There are no silver bullets to the current challenges that Covid-19 has brought to the sector but it is critical that we have a resilient dairy industry at the other end of this.

“What this highlights – something the union has been raising for some time now – is the fragility of the supply chain throughout the sector. So, it is critical we do all we can to strengthen and maintain the industry.”