By Robert Harris

MILK LINK, the southern-based dairy co-operative, has announced a 7.5% price rise for farm milk, of about 1.4ppl, back-dated to 1 April.

The increase takes Milk Links standard-litre price to 20ppl.

But only farmers producing 2000 litres or more a day, on every-other-day collection, will achieve such an amount after allowing for transport charges.

A farmer getting 1000-1999 litres of milk a day on EODC will receive about 19.5ppl net over the year, compared with 18.3ppl at present.

The co-operative admitted that it had had a tough time persuading companies to pay more, with foot-and-mouth disease hitting the export market.

It was helped after supermarkets agreed to pay 2ppl more for liquid milk.

The company also blames the disease for creating “significant” extra costs in recent weeks, making a price rise in February and March impossible.

“We think this is the best price we can get out of each of the market sectors at the moment,” said Milk Link operations director Neil MacFarlane.

“Our stated intention was a 3p rise. This is a good step in the right direction, but we need to address other issues.”

Mr MacFarlane said Milk Link was determined to raise farm-gate prices to 21ppl as soon as possible.

Top of the list is addressing the high cost of delivering milk supplies to London, where the bulk of Milk Links milk goes, said Mr MacFarlane.

“A large proportion of the extra we are seeking could come from this.”


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