THE LAST of the big three dairy co-operatives has taken the limits off milk production for its suppliers, deciding that the chances of hitting national quota are remote.

Members of Dairy Farmers of Britain will not be penalised for overproduction, and all withheld milk cheques will be returned to them.

The move follows December”s milk delivery figures, which showed that the UK quota shortfall was 215m litres, according to the Charles Holt/farmers weekly butterfat-adjusted profile.

Falling milk output has seen a slump in quota values, with lease prices as low as 5.7p/litre for 4% butterfat quota. Sale values are also down, to 10.8p/litre.

DFB has just reported turnover up 22% to 265m for the six months to Sept 30, boosting pre-tax profit to 10.3m. Much of the extra sales was generated by its acquisition of Associated Co-operative Creameries in August last year.