You can read the response from Milk & More to Jan Shortt, NPC General Secretary.
you can read Jan Shortt's letter to Milk & More on https://www.npcuk.org/post/milk-more
23 April 2021
Dear Ms Shortt
Thank you for your letter (dated 20th April) in which you suggest that Milk & More is, by moving to a prepay online only business, in breach of the Equality Act 2010.
This is not the case. As you are aware, prepay online only ordering is in common use by many businesses across the UK. In our case it is essential component of our plan to ensure that our business and the services it provides to local communities, has a viable future.
It is important to be clear that a failure or inability to adapt and modernise our business threatens its survival. The consequence of maintaining the status quo is that the 40 year decline in doorstep milk delivery will be irreversible, with Milk & More accepting the inevitable.
In a practical sense this would mean the gradual withdrawal of unprofitable services to local communities and ultimately, risk for more than 2000 people who work for Milk and More. This is avoidable.
At Milk & More, we believe passionately that thanks to the investment and changes we have made, there is now a future for the great British milkman and woman.
More than 80% of our business is online and this is growing daily. The offline model continues to decline at a rapid rate. Our offline systems – including the delivery handheld terminals and back office software – are obsolete. To maintain this quickly deteriorating element our business, including a DD payment option, would require investment of millions in a part of the business that is declining fast.
We fully recognise that the change to prepay online only ordering is not welcomed by all of our customers, but at every stage we have spent time considering the implications. This is why we trialled online only in Essex last year, where the vast majority of customers moved online.
Our customer care team is working hard to provide information on local online training centres and alternative local supply solutions to customers, wherever we possibly can, should they not wish to continue with us using an online only platform.
It is important to reiterate that we are attempting to maintain and rejuvenate a British icon – the milkman and milkwoman. Change is required to achieve this. Maintaining ways of working which have been in place for decades will lead to withdrawal of loss making services, with serious implications for our employees and for the communities they serve. We don’t want to see this, and we must act and act now.
Andrew Kendall Chief Operating Officer