Müller Dairy UK and Müller-owned Robert Wiseman Dairies have promised a “substantial increase” in the price they pay to their dairy farmer suppliers for milk.
From 15 October 2012, the firms will increase their farm gate milk prices 29 pence per litre (ppl) – a vast improvement on the planned 1 August 2012 reduced milk price.
The increase will be offered to all dairy farmers who supply Robert Wiseman and Müller Dairy UK, with the exception of those aligned with the likes of Tesco Sainsbury’s and the Co-operative Group – all of whom have their own pricing arrangements.
The new milk price represents an improvement of more than 4p on the controversial milk price reduction Robert Wiseman announced earlier this year.
In June 2012, Robert Wiseman gave its suppliers a month’s notice of a 1.7ppl milk price reduction. The August-scheduled reduction was, however, delayed by the firm while talks with protesting farmers went on. If executed, the price cut would have left its standard milk price at 24.73ppl.
Müller Dairy UK and Robert Wiseman Dairies are the latest in a line of UK-based dairy processors – including Arla Foods UK – to increase the price they pay to farmers for milk.
The announced increase follows a summer of dairy farmer-led protests across the UK relating to the planned August 2012 milk price reductions announced by Robert Wiseman and a number of other processors.
“Whilst this has been an extremely challenging period for the dairy supply chain we believe that a platform now exists from which the industry can begin to look forward, we are confident for the future and we look forward to working with our suppliers to realise our shared aspirations,” said Robert Wiseman milk procurement director Pete Nicholson.
The decision has been welcomed by the Wiseman Milk Partnership, which is comprised of more than 1,000 farmers that exclusively supply Robert Wiseman.
“Following construction discussions with the company we are pleased to arrive at this agreement from October 15, which whilst not as early as we had hoped, does reflect movement by the company, who need to recover this increase from the market,” said Wiseman Milk Partnership chairman, Roddy Catto.
“We welcome the increase to 29p and we recognise the hard work the company has put in over the last few months to restore trust in the relationship,” Catto added.
Milk price increase
September has been a busy month for the dairy industry in terms of UK milk price recovery.
In response to this year’s protests, Arla Foods UK decided to increase the standard price it pays to dairy farmers from 27ppl to 29.5ppl.
Diary Crest offered similar assurances last week, announcing that it had requested a cost price increase from its customers – a jump that it promised would be reflected in a farm gate milk price increase.