FARMER-owned dairy co-operative First Milk’s 250 Cumbrian members will see a 0.5p/litre price increase for November milk.

This puts their liquid standard litre up to 27.75p/litre and the manufacturing standard litre to 28.69p/litre, both including the member premium.

Stronger business performance and improved market returns, particularly from the cheese market, are behind the rise, said Robert Craig, First Milk's vice-chairman, farmer director and Armathwaite dairy farmer.However, he warned of considerable potential for disruption in the coming months, with Covid-19 on the rise and the terms of the UK’s departure from the EU still to be agreed.

“As such, there remains significant uncertainty around milk prices in the months ahead," he said.

He added: “We continue to pay out what we can to our members to provide as much stability as possible in these uncertain times.”

The member premium is a 13th payment, worth 0.5p/litre for milk supplied in the current milk year.

It is accrued month-on-month and will be paid in April 2021.

The bonus payment was introduced at 0.25p/litre from April 2019, with members receiving the first top-up payment after 12 months.

The full rate is paid to members who are fully invested in the business and is pro-rata adjusted, based on members achieving their capital target.

First Milk are the owners' of the Lake District Creamery at Aspatria.

Dairy farmers will get the opportunity to hear about future farming policy and quiz government minsters and experts in a free series of webinars organised by the Royal Association of British Dairy Farmers (RABDF) on November 2, 4 and 6.