New M&S campaign supports British dairy farming
Tim Lock, M&S dairy farmer from West Sussex
From 28 April 2020, M&S is launching a six-week campaign – spanning TV, social and in-store – that aims to put the efforts of British farmers and growers at the forefront for customers and highlight its ongoing commitments to sourcing meat, farmed fish, poultry, dairy and fruit, veg and horticulture from farmers across the country.
With travel restrictions in place, M&S is using ‘farmer cam’ footage on its website and social channels with interviews from farmers and growers across the country. M&S will also shine a spotlight on British products across its stores with new décor and signage in place.
Stuart Machin, managing director of M&S Food, said: “Despite the enormous challenges they are facing, our family of 10,000 British farmers are supporting us to deliver fantastic quality, fresh food for our customers, so we want to do our bit to support them. That is why we are standing by our long-standing British sourcing commitments, introducing new initiatives to tackle the problems our agricultural sector faces, and – through our new campaign – reminding customers of the incredible food our nation’s farmers produce.“
In response to the challenges facing the farming community, M&S has written to major farming unions and Government departments over the last week. The letter encourages the Government to address wider industry challenges around milk volumes and the supply of labour in produce, and outlines M&S’s ongoing commitments and plans to support each agricultural sector, such as dairy and beef farmers, who are facing mounting pressures as sales in the hospitality industry have plunged by almost 60%. One of M&S’ commitments includes paying a fair price for milk.
In response to the closure of the hospitality industry, M&S is continuing to guarantee a leading and fair price for milk through its Milk Pledge and will always purchase the volume it has committed to regardless of customer demand. M&S pays its farmers more for their milk than any other major retailer, and as demand for milk is increasing, M&S has been able to help grow supply from farmers including Tim Lock in West Sussex (pictured), who has been producing milk for M&S for 21 years and chairs the M&S Milk pool of 44 farmers across the UK.
Lock commented: “This has been one of the most difficult periods for many dairy farmers up and down the country, as our cows will still need to be milked despite changes in customer demand and restaurant and cafe closures. We are fortunate to be part of the M&S Milk Pool, and knowing that we’ll always receive a fair and stable milk price gives us the confidence that we will not only pull through this challenging time, but we can continue to invest in our businesses for the years to come.”
For more information on M&S’s Supporting British Farmers campaign, visit: www.marksandspencer.com/c/food-to-order/not-just-any-food/food-news/supporting-british-farmers.