Milk prices are edging closer to 30p/litre following Marks & Spencer’s decision this week (18 September) to pay its suppliers an extra 4p/litre only one month into a six-month contract period.

The move, backdated to 17 September, means farmers will now be getting 28p/litre, the highest price paid by a UK retailer. In-store prices increased from 38p to 42p/pint at the same time.

Agriculture manager Rob Cumine said: “We have made an early increase to our milk price to reflect market drivers that are currently affecting milk prices across the dairy industry.

“We value our longstanding relationships with our dairy farmers and wanted to do all we could to give them as much financial assistance as possible during this period of economic instability,” he added.

Marks & Spencer has always prided itself on paying one of the UK’s highest milk prices and needed to make the increase to stay ahead of  Tesco which upped its payment to 27.5p/litre last week.