By FWi staff

THE Express Milk Partnership, which recently secured a 1.8ppl price rise and extra seasonality payments, is looking to expand.

Numbers have suffered after members of the Waterford Group in the north decided to join co-ops.

By August, between 1100 and 1200 EMP members will be producing the equivalent of 700m litres of milk a year, compared with the 900m litres produced by 1500 members a few months ago.

“We are looking to get more than 1bn litres by this time next year,” says Jonathan Ovens, EMP vice-chairman.

“We believe partnership marketing with farmer and processor is the best way forward.”

Some Dairy Crest groups and First Milk farmers have shown particular interest, he adds.

By contrast, the Association of Dairy Farmers has appealed for more direct milk sellers to join farmer-owned businesses.

Vice-chairman, David Dugdale, says that the UK dairy industry cannot continue unless raw milk sales are completely restructured.

“At the moment, about half of all milk produced in this country comes from direct suppliers.

“We need a situation where most of the milk is sold through farmer-owned businesses.”

More than 60 members of North and East Riding Milk Producers plan to resign from their contracts with Arla to join ADF members moving to First Milk from 01 October.

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