Conservative councillors have slammed MCC’s decision to end the contract with Raglan Dairy to supply milk to the county’s schools, care homes and leisure centres in favour of a national company based over 100 miles away.

The contract with Raglan Dairy, agreed in September 2018 under the previous administration, meant all council services were using local milk, all sourced from Monmouthshire farms.  It was provided in reusable glass bottles and was enjoyed by children in the county’s primary schools, as well as users of other council assets like Caldicot Castle and Tintern Old Station. 

The Council is developing a local food strategy that is due to come to Cabinet in May that has a guiding principle of sourcing local produce. 

Cllr Richard John, said: “This is an appalling decision to stop using Monmouthshire milk in our schools, care homes and leisure centres and goes against everything the council is supposed to stand for.  It will increase carbon emissions, it fails to support local business and directly contradicts the council’s policy on food procurement.

“The council recently published a transport plan focussed on getting motorists out of their cars to protect the environment and then makes a decision to source milk from over 100 miles away.

“Only last month we had a debate in the council about supporting our farmers and Conservative councillors voted to urge the Welsh Government to pause its consultation on its Sustainable Farming Scheme, which would force farmers to give up 10% of their land for tree planting. 

“We really value the critical role that Monmouthshire farmers play in supplying us with high quality local produce.

“The Labour administration inherited this milk contract from the previous administration and I’m disgusted that they’re scrapping it in favour of milk that will be transported from over 100 miles away, denying our residents the chance to drink locally sourced milk. 

“Amongst Conservative councillors, it was a source of pride that Monmouthshire used only locally sourced milk from Monmouthshire farms.  Residents will be appalled at this decision and I strongly urge the cabinet to ensure that Monmouthshire children can enjoy Monmouthshire milk.”