Processors announce increased milk prices

UK dairy farmers received good news this week after three processors increased the price they pay for liquid milk.

Milk Link announced the most substantial hike of 0.75p/litre to its standard and organic milk.

The price of its Channel Island milk rose by 0.4p/litre, while the processor’s London liquid milk saw a 0.5p/litre rise.

Milk Link said the price rise, effective from 1 April, reflected the strong returns it was generating from the commodity markets, particularly skimmed milk powder and whey.

Dairy Crest raised its milk price 0.25p/litre, which will be backdated to members of the dairy’s general pool from 1 April.

However the price paid to suppliers of milk for cheese will remain the same.

Dairy Crest’s increase to the liquid milk price follows a 1.3p/litre increase to its Sainsbury Dairy Development Group suppliers from 1 April.

Robert Wiseman also announced a further increase of 0.13p/litre to its liquid milk price.

The latest increase adds up to a 0.76p/litre rise over the past three months, with Wiseman’s 750 suppliers now set to receive 19.51p/litre.

Andy Bloor, Chairman of the Wiseman Milk Partnership, said the improved milk price was in the interest of “much-need” and “longer-term stability.” 

Other dairy farmers can also look forward to a milk price increase, with First Milk, Arla and Dairy Farmers of Britain confirming they were in talks about raising the price they pay to their suppliers.

A spokesman for First Milk said the processor was having a board meeting today (Wednesday) to discuss an increase and hoped to make an announcement this week.

Dairy Farmers of Britain confirmed it was discussing an increase but had no firm date of when a price increase would be announced.

Jonathan Ovens, chairman of the Arla Foods Milk Partnership, which supplies most of Arla Foods’ milk, said he was flying to Denmark to meet the company’s new Danish chief executive Peter Lauritzen and an increased price would be announced next week.

“I think we’re going to see some really positive changes,” he said.

  • In further good news for Milk Link suppliers, the dairy said it had increased the amount it would pay to members for their processing interest payment by 20%.

    The payment, relating to the returns generated from Milk Link’s processing activities in 2006 and 2007, will rise from £2m to £2.4m, representing a 7% return on qualifying loans.

    Distributed to its 2000 members, a farmer holding an average number of qualifying loan rights should receive a payment of about £1200.