ARLA milk producers in Cumbria will see the New Year in with a farmgate price drop.

The farmer-owned dairy company has confirmed the on-account prices for conventional and organic milk will decrease by 1.2 euro cents per kg from January 1.

When applied to the UK manufacturing price, this equates to a 1.08ppl drop taking the conventional price to 29.58ppl.

The quarterly currency smoothing mechanism, which this month is 0.05ppl was offset by a cashflow balancing adjustment.

Arla Foods amba board director, and farmer owner, Arthur Fearnall, said: “Whilst global commodity prices have remained relatively stable, European prices particularly for fat, yellow cheese and mozzarella, have weakened of late in response to growing milk volumes and continuing uncertainty around COVID-19 impacts and Brexit.

“These market uncertainties are impacting the overall market for organic milk as well. As we go in to 2021, subject to the outcome of the Brexit negotiations, the current outlook is stable.”

Alice Swift, UK Agriculture director at Arla added: “While a decrease is never welcome news for farmers, despite a very disruptive period, we have managed to maintain a relatively stable conventional milk price over the last couple of years.“Throughout the exceptionally disruptive and challenging year we have faced in 2020, our teams across the UK have continued to worked tirelessly to ensure we successfully played our part in feeding the nation and minimised any potential disruption for our customers.”

Meanwhile Arla has published a digital book based on a dairy farm and his cow to inspire children to take a more active role in making positive food choices.Designed for key stage one and two children, the book explores the dairy process from farm-to-fridge, and other elements of farm life, through the eyes of Jelly, the Jersey cow.

It follows research by the processor which found one in five children were unaware where food comes from and its nutritional value.

Arla farmer and main character in the book, Jonny Burridge, said: “It is easy to take what we do for granted but knowing that one in 10 children have never been on a farm and have no idea what we are producing here was a bit of an eye-opener for me.I am really pleased Jelly and I are the characters who will introduce children to life on a dairy farm.”