The “Milk For Farmers” scheme was launched in October by the Arla co-operative of dairy farmers, and supermarkets launched products in support of the initiative.
Both Morrisons and Asda run programmes which see part of the cost of the milk handed back to dairy farmers with Arla.
Under the initiative bottles are branded with a Union flag, leading shoppers to believe they are supporting homegrown producers.
Under Morrisons’ ‘Milk for Farmers’ scheme 12,000 farmers in Arla’s cooperative receive subsidies from sales of the supermarket chain’s milk.
The proceeds are divided up among farmers producing milk, butter and cheese in the UK, Sweden, Germany, Belgium and Luxembourg.
But only 2,700 of these are British.
Analysis by AHDB Dairy showed Britons producing milk would have received a total of £1,300 had they been the only ones benefitting from the scheme.
Instead sales of the Morrisons ‘Milk for farmers’ initiative saw an average of £290 paid to each of the farmers in the Arla cooperative in extra payments from its 10p per litre retail price supplement.
Although the supermarket insisted farmers get £360.
Morrisons buys all its milk from Arla, only from British farmers, paying its farmers 23p for every litre of milk they produce.
One consumer wrote to Morrisons: “I’ve just seen Milk For Farmers on your website. Will this [the additional 23p] be all [going] to British farmers as the Union Jack on the bottle suggests?”
Morrisons changed packaging to make it clear where the money goes – yet the cartons carry a small Union Jack.