Dairy farmers given a boost as First Milk unveils price rises

Have your say

It has been a torrid year for dairy farmers but there was some good news this week as one processor was set to offer its producers a welcome pay boost in time for Christmas.

First Milk has announced further increases for all their farmers following rises earlier in the year.

A statement from the company said that producers in First Milk’s liquid pool will receive a 0.5ppl increase from today which comes on top of a 1ppl increase in October and a 1.6ppl lift in November.

Meanwhile, producers in the company’s cheese pool will receive a 0.5ppl increase from January 1, which comes in addition to a 1ppl increase in November and a 0.75ppl lift in December while producers in the co-op’s balancing pool will receive a 0.5ppl increase, on top of a 0.5ppl increase in October, a 0.75ppl lift in November and a 0.65ppl increase in December.

“Due to the phasing of delivering the increased market returns and business efficiencies, the latest balancing pool increase will happen in two stages: 0.25ppl on December 1 and 0.25ppl on January 1,” a statement said.

First Milk’s chairman Bill Mustoe said: “These regular moves demonstrate our determination to support producers through these challenging times by moving milk prices as far and as fast as we can.

“The liquid market has been bouncing around over the last six months. As recently as July, some companies were announcing prices of below 25ppl, but there has clearly been increases since then, supported by a mix of tight volumes and stronger cream returns. With cheese stocks now tightening, we fully expect market prices for cheese to strengthen in 2013.

“We will continue to press for improved returns, as well as positioning ourselves to utilise our milk across all the markets in which we operate, to generate the best possible returns for members.”

Other processors including Robert Wiseman and Arla have offered price rises of their own recently following months of protest when many producers found themselves receiving rates below the cost of production.