Dairy Crest has introduced a four-month “price floor” in a bid to offer a “lengthy period of stability” to its farmer suppliers struggling under the knock-on impact of low prices for global dairy commodities.

The UK dairy processor is lowering its March milk price by 1.5 pence per litre but said it would not drop its farmgate milk price again before July. The company claims to be the first UK dairy group to take such a step.

Mike Sheldon, MD of Dairy Crest’s dairies arm, said it was a “crucial move” during a peak period of milk production.

Sheldon said: “During this challenging time for British dairying, Dairy Crest is leading the industry by introducing a price floor until July. We want to provide as much stability and certainty for our supplying farmers as we can. We hope that by the summer markets will have recovered and we can reflect this in our milk price to farmers.”