MORE good news in the New Year for Cumbrian dairy farmers with farmgate milk price rise on the cards.

Owners of the Lake District Creamery at Aspatria, First Milk, has announced a 2p/litre increase in its farmgate milk price from January 1 2022, while Muller has added another 1p on top of its recently announce 2p price rise for the same month.

The First Milk move puts its manufacturing standard litre at 33.5p/litre before payment of the 0.5p/litre member premium at the end of the milk year.

The farmer-owned co-operative has about 800 members. It produces cheese, bulk cream and whey proteins, and exports its products to more than 26 countries.

Robert Craig, vice-chairman and farmer director at First Milk, and Cumbrian dairy farmer, said: “We are acutely aware of the huge inflationary cost pressure that our farmer members face this winter. As always, our focus is on returning as much to our members as we can.”

He added: “While this 2p/litre price increase is undoubtedly a positive step, we will continue to work hard with our customers to recover increased costs from the marketplace, as well as focusing on any further mitigations we can take to reduce cost across our business.”

The First Milk price rise follows a flurry of increases by processors across the industry, as on-farm costs continue to rise and wholesale markets show strong growth.

Farms on direct contracts supplying Muller will receive an additional 1p/litre price rise from January 1.

This is on top of the 2p/litre increase announced two weeks ago, taking its standard litre discretionary base price to 32p/litre in January.

Most of those on direct contracts will also receive a 1p/litre premium paid at the end of the milk year.

Muller says the additional price rise reflects the need to continue addressing challenges to the supply of milk from dairy farmers, which include rapidly rising on-farm production costs.

In a separate move, Muller Direct farmers on three-year fixed-price contracts with Lidl GB for up to 50 percent of their milk supply will receive a temporary increase of 4p/litre to 33p/litre from January 1.

Farmer-owned co-operative Lakeland Dairies is inducing a new enhanced payment in January, above its base rate, for extra protein and butterfat.

Cheesemaker Barber’s has announced a staggered increase of 3p/litre across December and January, bringing the January price to 34p/litre.