The Co-operative Group has increased the premium it pays to farmers in its milk pool.

The UK retailer has upped the premium it pays on milk by 0.65 pence, bringing the total premium to 2ppl.

Robert Wiseman Dairies, which supplies The Co-op with its milk, announced a cut of 1.7ppl to the base price it pays its suppliers for milk at the end of last month (29 July). A week later, the move was followed by the UK's other largest dairy processors, Arla and Dairy Crest, who also slashed their base milk prices.

The cuts have resulted in an outcry from dairy farmers, with the NFU calling the situation "catastrophic" and warning that farmers are being forced out of the dairy industry.

"We are doing everything we can to attempt to alleviate the pressures facing dairy farmers during these tough trading conditions," a spokesperson for The Cooperative told just-food today (9 July). 

The spokesperson said the increase would come into effect from 1 August - the same date that Wiseman's price cut is set to kick in.

"Our support for them goes beyond simply what we pay for milk. We fund a series of measures designed to help our farmers achieve higher levels of efficiency and reduce farm costs. These include a series of professionally facilitated workshops and on-farm practical demonstrations, a carbon and energy efficiency audit and a contribution towards veterinary care."