The NFU has welcomed the announcement by Dairy Crest that it is to increase the price paid to producers by two pence per litre.

This is recognition of the financial difficulties of their suppliers and comes following on-going dialogue between the NFU and Dairy Crest.

Dairy Crest announced that it will pay the increase to producers who supply the company direct from the 1 October to the 31 December 2000. It has also agreed to negotiate a similar increase to all supplying co-ops for the same period.

NFU’s Milk and Dairy Produce Committee Chairman Terrig Morgan said: “This is recognition by Dairy Crest of what the NFU has been saying for some time – that the market is able to bear at least a two pence per litre milk price increase.”

He added: “This will bring relief but for many producers this may well not be enough to put them on a sound financial footing. Many producers will still be unable to break even let alone reinvest in their businesses.

“In the months ahead we will be working to secure a return to sustainable milk prices for dairy farmers who have been struggling to earn a living for the past three years.”