The NFU yesterday gave its support to discussions by representatives of Dairy Crest Direct Suppliers, Express Milk Partnership, Milk Link and Zenith Milk to explore opportunities for greater co-operation.

It is understood that both Dairy Crest plc and Express Ltd are supportive of these discussions.

NFU Milk and Dairy Produce Committee Chairman Terrig Morgan said: “Not only is this about milk groups coming together, it is also about farmers and processors working together in the supply chain.

“We wish all the parties concerned well and we will be doing all we can to support them. These discussions are good news for farmers and their groups and for the customers of those groups.”