First Milk ups prices for cheese and balancing pools

First Milk is to increase its milk price for farmers in its cheese and balancing milk pools, although its liquid price will not change.

Strengthening commodity markets have led the co-op to raise prices for farmers in its cheese pool by 0.65p/litre and 0.4p/litre for suppliers in its balancing pool.

Chairman Bill Mustoe said: “On the back of strengthening markets, we have secured improved returns from the cheese and whey sectors. However, the liquid market has remained flat over the last few weeks and we have been unable to generate any further returns from that sector. As a result, our liquid pool price remains unchanged for August.”

First Milk’s standard litre prices are as follows from 1 August:

• Liquid pool: 23.38p/litre
• Balancing pool: 23.02p/litre
• Cheese: 23.02p/litre

Mr Mustoe said: “We have delivered six increases in seven months across the membership, which continues to demonstrate our progression as a company. We are on a journey and continue to drive efficiency and change through the business, which will allow further moves to happen. We will continue to deliver returns back to members as they are earned in the business.”

However, members who were to quit the business would no longer benefit from “windfall” boosts in milk price as they served notice, he added.

“With the business performance continuing to improve, we are looking to maintain this momentum and a key part of that is planning and shaping the business for the future. The board has therefore decided that we should recognise the value of members committed to the ongoing supply of volume and as a result, future price increases will only apply to members who are not under resignation.”