The head of Farmers for Action says he feels “vindicated” after increases in farmgate milk prices came days after it carried out protests against the main dairy processors and Morrisons supermarket.

In the last week, Muller Wiseman Dairies, Arla Milk Link (AML) and First Milk were among the main processors to announce price increases.David Handley, dairy farmer and chief executive of the FFA, said the price increases were a “clear indication” that for the last three months milk processors had been holding back money that should have been passed back to farmers.

“We have said all along that the money has been there and it has been held on to,” he added. “Muller, who were the first to initiate a milk price increase, could have gone further if they had wanted to.

“Global, European and domestic markets show there is more money in the supply chain to get back to farmers.”

Mr Handley said the FFA would be focusing its efforts on securing a further 1p/litre increase for dairy farmers by 1 November.

He welcomed Arla Milk Link’s 0.74p/litre price increase from 30 September, bringing its standard milk price to 33.05p/litre, but said he was expecting Arla Foods Milk Partnership to follow suit soon.

Mr Handley said over the next few weeks the FFA would be working closely with farmer milk representatives and other farming organisations to try to achieve 2p/litre increases across the board.

“We have to realise this high will not last forever, therefore it is imperative to secure milk prices that are sustainable to dairy farmers and put them in a strong position if that downturn should arrive,” he added.

Rob Newbery, NFU chief dairy adviser, said: “It is an important period for negotiations between producer representatives within the dairy companies and those dairy companies to secure milk price rises that farmers need.

“It is important that we all play our part in supporting these negotiations and supporting these representatives.”

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