Dairy Farmers of Britain has confirmed industry speculation that it is considering introducing new contracts for its members.

Membership director Matt Sheehan was unable to say how any new contracts would be structured or when they would be introduced, but he said members would be given plenty of warning so they could change their production systems accordingly.

Mr Sheehan said the milk co-op recognised the need for agreements to be more market appropriate, as highlighted by the recent report from the Milk Development Council and the NFU, which said many farmers’ contracts did not reflect the end use for their milk.

DFB members can choose currently between a liquid or compositional contract.

About 75% had opted for the compositional deal, which rewarded higher quality milk, said Mr Sheehan.

A spokesman for Milk Link would not confirm if the co-op would move away from its single contract, but added: “We are constantly reviewing how we pay for the milk our members provide.”

Our Milk Price Review for August includes price increases from four companies and price cuts from five.

Three companies are paying more for constituent values – Barber by 0.5p/litre, Dairy Crest by 0.39p/litre on its manufacturing contract and Wyke Farms by 0.35p/litre.

Caledonian Cheese has made a flat rate increase of 0.14p/litre.

Four companies have cut their base price – Midlands Co-op by 1p/litre, Longslow Dairies by 0.48p/litre, Paynes Dairies by 0.35p/litre and Dairy Crest by 0.3p/litre on its liquid agreement.

Westbury Dairies reduced its constituent values by 0.03p/litre.

All other changes reflect seasonality payments.
andrew.shirley@rbi.co.uk