Retailers listening to anti-GMO consumers

Lidl has latched on to consumer movement against use of genetically modified feedstuffs on dairy farms, by listing GMO-free milk in all its stores across Germany.

The GMO-free certified milk will be available under Lidl’s private label brand, Milbona.

From August onwards, two GMO-free cheeses (Emmentaler and Wisenländer) will also be made available nationally under the Milbona label.

The supermarket chain will sell the GMO-free Milbona range at the same price as conventional, non-GMO products.

This is made possible by Lidl taking on the additional costs incurred by farmers for the use of GMO-free feed.

In July 2015, Lidl introduced its first GMO-free certified products — GMO-free milk, both fresh and UHT — in all its branches in Bavaria.

Alongside the move now to nationwide introduction of GMO-free milk, Lidl’s GMO-free dairy product offering in Bavarian outlets will expand to include cream, sour cream, crème fraiche, mozzarella, and sliced cheese.

The green Ohne Gentechnik label will be visible on all of Lidl’s new GMO-free products. 

This GMO-free certification was launched in 2009 by the the Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Consumer Protection and Verband Lebensmittel ohne Gentechnik (VLOG) the non-profit industry association which advocates food production without GMOs.

The Lidl move follows the Arla dairy co-op’s announcement of a plan to seek 1 billion litres of ‘GMO-free’ milk over the next year from its dairy farm suppliers across Europe.

Arla expects to be able to pay an extra 1c per kg for the milk. 

The co-op says retailers in Germany are increasingly demanding dairy products from cows getting GMO-free feed, and are willing to pay a price premium. 

The company says this trend is likely to spread to other markets.

Arla’s Swedish farmers have always used GMO-free feed, which means that around 20% of Arla’s milk pool already meets the market demand for dairy feeds being free of genetically modified organisms (GMOs).

However, Arla admits that milk is, by definition, GMO-free even on farms where up to 10% of the cow’s diet is genetically modified soya. 

GMOs cannot be traced in the milk from these farms.


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