Somerset-based cheesemaker Barber’s has announced a 1p/litre milk price rise, taking payments to 30p for a standard litre from 1 July.
The increase will be paid to its 150 farmer suppliers hitting 4.1% butterfat (BF) and 3.28% protein.
However, Barber’s pointed out that the price paid would rise to 32.33p/litre if producers could match BF and protein percentages achieved last month.
The firm pointed out that it was the third price rise since September 2020 and had been made possible by “remarkable strength in global dairy markets”.
International demand had surpassed milk supply chiefly because of growth in the Chinese market, it said.
“The uplift in Global Dairy Trade auction returns is also now being reflected across EU and UK ex-farm milk pricing,” a spokesperson said.
Unusually, AHDB’s April wholesale dairy market review showed that all products, apart from cream and mature cheddar, saw values rise during the month, the spokesperson added.
This is due to the cold, dry spring hitting grass growth and restraining the seasonal surge in milk supply.
As a result, AHDB’s actual milk price equivalent (AMPE) stands at 31.11p/litre, up by 9.78p/litre in April 2021 compared to the same month last year.
Other values also pointed to growing confidence in the milk market as buyers prepare for the return of the food service sector, once Covid-19 restrictions are lifted.
Over the past 12 months, mild cheddar prices increased by £100/t (3.4%) and mature cheddar rose by £150/t (4.6%).
“Cheddar curd markets, known as immature cheddar, remain strong, which suggests strengthening market sentiment,” the spokesperson said.