Price increase for First Milk suppliers

Dairy farmers supplying First Milk will receive an increase in the price they are paid for their milk from next month.

The co-op has confirmed that the standard litre price for each of its milk pools will increase by 0.25p/litre from 1 September. The price for its liquid pool will rise to 23.63p/litre, while the cheese and balancing pool increases to 23.27p/litre.

First Milk said the increase was being funded by a reduction in its cost base as a result of a “continued drive on efficiencies”.

Earlier in August the co-op announced a significant improvement in its financial performance, with a pre-tax profit of £360,000 in the year to 31 March 2010, compared with a loss of almost £10m the previous year.

“Since the start of 2010 we have increased our standard litre price for the liquid pool by 2.23p/litre, while the cheese and balancing pools have seen a 2.17p/litre increase,” chairman, Bill Mustoe, said.

“We have created momentum within the business and will continue to focus on reducing overhead costs and improving market returns.”

Meanwhile, the Lake District Cheese Company, which is owned by First Milk, has announced a new £1m marketing campaign designed to boost the brand’s local origin and taste image.

The ‘land of milk and bunny’ media campaign will be supported by new packaging for its mature and extra mature cheese packs. It is hoped that it will help push the £26m brand into the top three UK cheddars within the next three years.