2 November 2001

Increased milk prices welcome

service, has helped prices, he adds. "But we have been operating quite rigorous cost control, particularly on haulage."

Unlike some other milk sellers, he is confident the new price is robust. "I anticipate it will remain through to March."

This increase means a typical Zenith producer supplying 600,000 litres a year of 4.1% butterfat, 3.25% protein milk with hygiene and SCC bonuses on every-other-day-collection (85% of members are on EODC) will receive 20.1p/litre.

For comparison purposes, according to our own Milk Price Review EODC standard litre, Zenith will pay 19.91p/litre (the price difference is mainly due to the lower volume used in our calculation).

This is slightly ahead of October prices paid by Milk Link and the Milk Group, which announced a drop of about 1p/litre last week, and well ahead of First Milk (Southern). &#42

By Robert Harris

ZENITH Milk has announced it will pay farmer members 0.4p/litre more for their milk, backdated to Oct 1.

It is the only major milk buyer to announce an increase this autumn. Most others announced no change after protracted negotiations.

The price rise is welcome news for Zenith producers, who for months have had to put up with some of the UKs lowest milk prices.

The bulk of Zeniths milk is sold on long-term contracts, so the co-op has had little negotiating to do in recent weeks. The increase mainly reflects costs savings and conservative budgeting at the beginning of the year due to foot-and-mouth, says chairman John Cook.

A large amount of Zeniths milk is now sold into premium businesses, including Cadbury, Eden Vale and Müller. This, and improved service, has helped prices, he adds. "But we have been operating quite rigorous cost control, particularly on haulage."

Unlike some other milk sellers, he is confident the new price is robust. "I anticipate it will remain through to March."

This increase means a typical Zenith producer supplying 600,000 litres a year of 4.1% butterfat, 3.25% protein milk with hygiene and SCC bonuses on every-other-day-collection (85% of members are on EODC) will receive 20.1p/litre.

For comparison purposes, according to our own Milk Price Review EODC standard litre, Zenith will pay 19.91p/litre (the price difference is mainly due to the lower volume used in our calculation).

This is slightly ahead of October prices paid by Milk Link and the Milk Group, which announced a drop of about 1p/litre last week, and well ahead of First Milk (Southern). &#42