29 August 1997

MMs latest offer

UK DAIRY companies have given a more enthusiastic response to the latest offer to process milk on contract for Milk Marque.

The companies drew heavy criticism from farmers when they shunned the first contract processing offer in May. Under the scheme, they only had to tender a fee for turning milk into butter and skimmed milk powder, which Milk Marque then took responsibility for marketing.

But faced with a large surplus to dispose of, the co-op opened another contract processing round earlier this month, offering up to 2m litres a day from Oct 1. The latest round also widens the range of products that can be produced, including whole milk powder and anhydrous milk fat.

A spokesman for Milk Marque said the company had received good interest both from UK and overseas processors and these were being evaluated before issuing definitive contracts.

The outcome of contract processing will be critical in determining how much Milk Marque can afford to pay its members.