Dairy Crest has launched its new “Milk&more” contract early, following a positive response from suppliers.

The fixed price contract, which was scheduled to start this summer, will now open in March, initially offering suppliers 0.25p/litre over Dairy Crest’s standard liquid milk price of 24.216p/litre.

This price will be fixed for a period of two years, unless markets move by more than 2p/litre each way, in which case a buffer will be activated. Tracking a basket of non-aligned milk prices, the contract will only rise or fall by the difference above +2ppl or below -2ppl, offering farmers greater stability for budgeting and planning.

“We are delighted at the initial response to this new fixed price contract, which highlights the value of price stability to our suppliers,” said milk procurement director, Mark Taylor. “Our aim is to develop further contract options that are tailored to different farm business models, and therefore offer suppliers greater flexibility and choice, in line with our milk procurement strategy.”

The Milk&more contract has been offered to all suppliers on a liquid contract not currently aligned to a retailer pool.

On the consumer side, it provides a new online ordering service for Dairy Crest’s household customers, enabling them to order doorstep deliveries 24 hours a day from a range of over 250 daily essentials, up until 9pm the night before their next delivery.

“Having a fixed price removes volatility for our suppliers and for ourselves,” said spokeswoman Lyndsay Chapman. “This will help us to invest in the Milk&more business and grow it.”