Muller Wiseman Dairies flag© Tim Scrivener

The Muller Wiseman Milk Group (MWMG) is raising its formula milk price by 1.172p/litre for September.

This is the second consecutive monthly formula milk price rise following seven months of reductions.

The increase is Muller’s largest-ever monthly formula milk price rise and will take both contract option standard litres to 26.005p/litre, affecting about 200 dairy farmers.

See also: Dairy farmers stage Muller protest over milk price freeze

Strong cream prices have been the driving force behind the rise, up £270/t from June to July to £1,370/t.

The only thing stopping producers from jumping ship are supermarket supplements David Handley, Farmers For Action

This represents the largest incremental increase of cream markets for seven years, and the highest UK cream market value for 24 months according to AHDB.

The rise comes at a turbulent time for Muller which last week faced protests from lobby group, Farmers For Action (FFA), with another protest planned for today (11 August).

The protests, held at Muller’s Market Drayton factory follow MWMG’s decision to hold its standard non-aligned liquid milk price for September, a move the NFU described as an “insult” to producers.

This decision affects 650 farmers.

Muller’s current standard non-aligned liquid milk price sits at 18.66p/litre to which a 3.047p supplement is paid by retailers.

See also: Muller freezes milk prices for September

Handley criticism

FFA chairman David Handley described a failure to raise the standard non-aligned price as “simply profiteering”.

He added “Muller have been undercutting their competition at the expense of non-aligned farmers for too long now.

“They could have increased their non-aligned liquid milk price by 2p/litre and still made substantial profits.

“The only thing stopping producers from jumping ship are supermarket supplements.”

Mr Handley offered a bleak outlook for the future of Muller’s formula contracts.

He said: “Within six months they will be dead and buried. There’s no future in them as they undermine the lower non-aligned price.

“Show us a legitimate reason why non-aligned prices can’t go up and Muller can stop this all tonight if they want to. The trouble is they can’t.”