Uncertainty and downward pressure on domestic dairy prices have pushed British dairy co-op First Milk to freeze its farmgate milk price for next month.
The wholly British farmer-owned milk buyer’s price has proven to be remarkably stable, holding firm for four consecutive months from May.
First Milk’s 800 dairy farmers will continue to receive 27.5p/litre for liquid litres with a constituent content of 4% butterfat and 3.3% protein.
Producers paid on a manufacturing basis will receive 28.43p/litre for volumes at 4.2% butterfat and 3.4% protein.
A further 0.25p/litre will be accrued by “fully invested” farmer-owners, with the total amount being paid out in April next year as a 13th payment.
To a 1m litre/year dairy farmer, the 13th payment would be worth £2,500.
In a short statement, First Milk vice-chairman Jim Baird said the processor was working hard to provide as much stability as it could for its members in spite of ongoing uncertainty and downward pressure in domestic dairy markets.
Scottish farmers’ union NFU Scotland welcomed the price hold, and indicated the move brought optimism looking ahead to the spring.
“With an expected higher spring flush, [First Milk] expects to be delivering strong performances through its contracts and customer base and a weaker spot price created by unplanned milk production within the UK,” said NFUS Milk chairman John Smith.
Mr Smith reminded producers to stay in regular contact with milk buyers to discuss how much milk was required during the flush in order to get the balance between supply and demand right.
This would ensure everyone got a reasonable return for their huge efforts and heavy investments, added the union representative.