By Robert Harris

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

It is the only major milk buyer to announce an increase this autumn, with most others announcing no change after protracted negotiations.

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

The increase mainly reflects costs savings and conservative budgeting made at the beginning of the year, when much of the milk field was in areas hit by foot-and-mouth, says chairman, John Cook.

Unlike some other milk sellers, he is confident that 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 will receive 20.1p/litre.

Milk price league table