The announcement that Dairy Crest and milk co-operative Milk Link are to form a partnership to establish the largest butter and milk powder plant in the UK can only benefit dairy producers, says the NFU.

The NFU has consistently argued that one of the key ways for dairy farmers to get extra income out of the supply chain is for them to be involved in processing.

NFU Deputy President Tim Bennett said the NFU has stressed for some time that the formation of alliances with existing processors is one way in which this can be achieved.

He said: “This announcement is good news for dairy farmers and good news for the dairy industry.

“This partnership will allow Milk Link members to derive benefits from the processing of milk.”

NFU Milk and Dairy Produce Committee Chairman Terrig Morgan said: “This as a positive step forward for the dairy industry and for dairy farmers.

“Forming long-term partnerships within the supply chain is key to bringing benefits to producers and a future security for the dairy industry.”