The Dutch dairy industry fears a split among farmers, as sustainability criteria imposed by retailers, along the lines of AH (label: Beter voor) and A-ware’s Better for Nature & Farmer, now sit alongside government and dairy regulations respectively. One farmer would supply sustainably within the rules set by the supermarkets, the other would operate according to the usual standards.
This means that there could soon be two product streams. One for the Dutch market and the other for export. Since the country exports more than it consumes, the exports will put pressure on the average price. There is no solution to the dilemma, because the supermarkets are opting for a fixed relationship with the farmer, according to Marc Jansen of the Central Bureau Levensmiddelen (CBL). In the process, the retail chains will retain control. This is evident from the fact that AH and A-ware’s Better for Nature & Farmer is the starting point, rather than FrieslandCampina’s PlanetProof. The latter programme will still exist, but in practice it will be subordinate to the Beter voor label.