Dairy Crest has today (20 January) announced that it is to cut its February milk prices. Customers on its standard liquid contract will see a 1.75p/litre reduction, while those on the Davidstow contract will have their price cut by 1p/litre.

The move follows similar-sized cuts by First milk and Arla to their January milk prices, but Dairy Crest said it would at least hold its prices for January.

Dairy Crest blamed next month’s cuts on falling dairy commodity markets and difficult trading conditions in the current economic climate, which had meant lower returns from ingredients markets and particular difficulties for doorstep sales.

“Any reduction in milk price is regrettable and we recognise that dairy farmers need confidence to invest for the future,” DC’s Arthur Reeves said. “However, we cannot continue to ignore the marketplace and absorb lower realisations and believe this price movement is fair and balanced in today’s environment.”

David Herdman from Dairy Crest Direct, which represents 1400 DC suppliers, said any price cuts were disappointing, but acknowledged that Dairy Crest had listened to the DCD Board’s arguments to mitigate price decreases.

“We believe that this was the best result that could be achieved in these difficult economic circumstances,” he said.