Arla Foods has said that it will pay UK milk farmers an additional 0.5p per litre amid growing concern over tightening supplies of milk in the country.

The price increase, which will take effect on 1 June, is applicable to the 1,500 farmers who are members of the Arla Foods Milk Partnership (AFMP).

With on-farm costs continuing to rise, Arla has acknowledged that, unless farm-gate prices increase, the UK could face a shortage of milk in the latter part of the year.

"Arla Foods recognises that there is volatility in the marketplace and has agreed to continue to monitor developments, and on-farm costs, to ensure that its current milk price reflects market conditions," AFMP chairman Jonathan Ovens said.

The move follows price increases that have been implemented by Robert Wiseman Dairies and Dairy Crest.

However, dairy farmers' group First Milk has criticised dairy producers for being slow to react to increasing costs and changes to the EU's dairy subsidy regime.

"The industry has been extremely slow to react to the overwhelming body of evidence that suggests milk prices must rise. These increases are a step in the right direction, but for many of our members who are struggling to stay afloat or being forced to exit the dairy business it is too little too late," a spokesperson for First Milk told just-food today (22 May).