First Milk has withdrawn plans to reduce the milk price it pays to farmers in its liquid and balancing pools from 1 August.
The company made the announcement in a statement issued on Thursday (26 July).
First Milk had announced in early July that producers in their liquid pool would see a reduction 1.7p per litre from 1 August, while those in its balancing pool would see a reduction of 0.9p per litre from the same date.
The withdrawal of these planned price cuts to the liquid and balancing pools means that the standard litre prices for these pools remain at 26.05p per litre and 26.10p er litre respectively.
First Milk’s cheese price remains at 26.25p per litre
Chief executive Katie Allum said: “While we have still to complete discussions with our liquid processor customers, we have a responsibility to our farmers to show leadership in this situation and remove any uncertainty.
“On that basis, we have decided to immediately withdraw the planned August price cuts that were put in place as a result of moves by our liquid customers.”
Ms Allum added: “This has been a turbulent time for the whole industry, but unless we immediately grasp the nettle, the progress we are seeing right now will be short-lived.”
Dairy farmers have spoken with one voice over the last few weeks, making it clear that they rejected the existing model where they were price takers, said Ms Allum.
Instead, they favoured working together to gain an equal seat at the negotiating table.
“It is therefore critical that the whole dairy supply chain now looks to develop better structures and relationships for the short, medium and long term.
We plan to make sure that First Milk plays a leading role in that process.”