Arla milk price rise step in the right direction: NFU

Arla has announced that it will increase the price it pays to its UK members by 0.83ppl* from March 30.

This will take their standard litre price to 25.8ppl and is the first positive move by a major UK milk buyer in many months. The UK price takes into account a new Jan-March average exchange rate being introduced to the pricing mechanism.

Rob Harrison, NFU dairy board chairman, said: “At last we have seen a UK milk price follow the upward motions of market indicators over recent weeks. Farmers have been seeing rising wholesale prices almost across the board with no sign yet of this feeding back to milk cheques, but we must see income returning to the farm gate quickly in order to save the industry from further devastation.

“Arla has worked to explain how its milk pricing system works to its 3,000 UK members, to gain their understanding and support as a co-operative business. I am sure the news of this price increase will be welcomed at their spring meetings, which are currently underway. It is now more important than ever that trust is re-built in the dairy industry between processors, farmers and retailers. This needs to happen through transparent pricing mechanisms, quick returns to farmers’ incomes in line with the market and a fair balance of risk across the supply chain. Today’s news should serve as a wake-up call to other processors. They cannot hold on to increasing returns at a time when farmers are suffering monumental losses of income, we must see returns to the farm gate immediately.”

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