3 July 1998

MM lifts July milk price to aid dairy incomes

MILK Marque has raised its prices for the July selling round by up to 2p/litre, one of several changes to try to raise producer incomes.

"Consumer prices today are virtually the same as they were a year ago, while farmers returns have plummeted. We need to start putting this right," says managing director, Paul Beswick.

The 90% rule has also been removed, so Milk Marque will not have to re-offer milk at a lower price if buyers bid for less than that % in any selling round.

Basic structure has been simplified to four main contract types. Two residual contracts have been discontinued, and replaced with a new "varying supply" contract, to give a greater certainty of supply to buyers.

A new Capacity contract will also address buyers concerns over prices and currency volatility. Here, Milk Marque retains ownership of milk, but pays the buyer 3.7p/litre to convert it into butter or skim milk powder. The maker can then buy these products, or leave Milk Marque to sell it.

A total of 13.6m litres a day is on offer on six-month contracts commencing Oct 1998. For additional flexibility, another 1m-2m litres a day will be offered on daily and monthly short-term markets. &#42