Asda says customers are demanding more choice when it comes to milk. Demand spiked and calls for change from consumers reached a fever-pitch after Jamie Oliver and Jimmy Doherty drew attention to the limited and poor milk choices available in their latest series of Channel 4 show, “Jamie and Jimmy’s Friday Night Feast.”

Instead of shying from controversy, Asda’s wrapping their arms around the opportunity.

Today, the retailer announced that it will quickly move to funnel 70,000 litres of Free Range Dairy Farmer’s Milk onto Asda shelves every week from here forward.

Asda says they “listened to feedback from customers who were interested in the idea of Free Range Milk and wanted to have more information about the kind of farms their milk comes from – and decided to introduce a new product to its existing range.”

Free Range Dairy Farmer’s Milk comes from pasture based farms where cows are guaranteed 180 days and nights outdoor grazing a year.

Most dairy farmers graze their cows for part of the year; however, there are currently no guidelines set by the industry to specify the number of days and nights a cow should be kept outdoors. With this in mind, Asda is offering customers more choice and transparency when it comes to the milk they put in their shopping trolleys.

Asda has worked with the Free Range Dairy Network to bring the new product range to their stores. It is a Community Interest Company set up in 2014 with fellow director Carol Lever and since then, has been the driving force behind the campaign to promote the value in milk from traditional, pasture based farms. The Free Range Dairy Network licences the ‘Pasture Promise’ logo which will appear on the Free Range Dairy Farmer’s Milk in Asda, and offers a promise to customers that the milk they’re buying meets the grazing standards set by the Free Range Dairy Network.

As part of their customer research into the demand for Free Range Milk Asda has identified stores in its chain where there is a high level of interest in organic products and so will initially put 70,000 litres of Free Range Dairy Farmer’s Milk on shelf every week in 109 stores from 1st March 2017. There will be semi-skimmed milk available in one and two litre bottles and unhomegenised whole milk available in one and two litre bottles.

Jenny Cannon, Senior Category Director for Milk at Asda, said: “We’re launching Free Range Dairy Farmer’s Milk because it’s the right thing to do for our customers. We want to provide ranges for our customers that offer them great price, quality and choice. We’re excited to have the opportunity to work with the Free Range Dairy Network on Free Range Dairy Farmer’s Milk and hope our customers love it too. We will be monitoring demand for the milk in all stores and will work closely with the Free Range Dairy Network to make sure the milk is available to as many customers as possible.”

Neil Darwin, who set up the Free Range Dairy Network adds: “We’re over the moon that Free Range Dairy Farmer’s Milk will be available across the UK on Asda’s shelves. We hope that by customers being offered an active choice as to the kind of farming system they want to support, we will be able to grow the Free Range Dairy Network and recruit more dairy farmers who’ll be able to benefit from this simple farming method.”

What do you think?

Shouldn’t more retailers follow Asda’s lead?

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About Ali Morrow

Ali Morrow is the head of editorial and strategy for the Jamie Oliver Food Foundation.