The Southern Co-operative is launching fresh milk sourced from Isle of Wight dairy farms in selected stores on the Isle of Wight from Tuesday 6 November as part of its ongoing commitment to working with local producers and stocking locally sourced food and drink.
Phil Ponsonby, The Southern Cooperative’s Chief Operating Officer for Food Retail, said: “The Southern Co-operative stocks over 1000 locally produced lines across eight counties in southern England as part of the Local Flavours range. Our reputation as a Co-operative is built upon the basis that we care about and work closely with the community and with local producers who supply our stores. The Isle of Wight is a rich source of locally produced food and drink, and provides a popular range in our stores with both residents and visitors to the Island. Introducing Isle of Wight milk into our Local Flavours range is part of our ongoing support for local businesses and the rural economy in which we operate.”
Justin Birch, Chairman of Isle of Wight Dairy Farmers said: “We’ve been talking to supermarkets since our campaign to keep Isle of Wight milk on the Island was launched in August this year. The Southern Co-operative has got behind us and been enthusiastic to support our aim and I know that there is plenty of public support. All 18 dairy farmers on the Island are behind our campaign and potentially Isle of Wight dairy farmers could supply 20 million litres of milk a year to meet demand.”
The Island’s MP, Andrew Turner, said: “I am delighted that we are able to announce today the first sizeable new contract with The Southern Co-operative, who will be selling milk produced, processed and packaged here on the Island. The plight of dairy farmers in the UK is of great concern but even more so on the Isle of Wight due to higher transport costs. I hope that residents and visitors alike will choose this new line of milk to support Island cows, Island farmers and the Island’s economy, as well as helping to preserve our unique and beautiful landscape. I look forward to The Southern Co-operative rolling this out to their other stores on the Island and welcoming other new suppliers on board over the coming weeks.”
Isle of Wight milk is initially being launched in The Southern Co-operative stores in Cowes and Freshwater, and it is hoped to then roll out to other Island stores. It will be available at 40p per pint, 76p for two pints and £1.34 for four pints.