The NFU has blasted the latest milk price cut by Arla Foods UK as "penal". But it is equally pointing the finger at Asda for triggering cuts in the supply chain in March that "put the future of the dairy industry at risk."

Arla Foods UK cut the price by 0.4ppl and from July will add to this a penalty of 0.45ppl for producers falling 10% above or below agreed volumes.

Director for milk buying Peter Walker said: "Farmers producing milk with butterfat of between 3.7% and 3.9% and those who accurately forecast and execute a flat delivery profile will be least affected by this."

Arla warned last month that it would have to "review its options" in the light of the impact of Asda's price cuts on its profitability and the performance of its premium brand Cravendale.

NFU chief dairy adviser, Tom Hind said that producers were once again facing the "edge of a cliff".

"The price drop is hard to stomach in an industry that is less than self sufficient in milk, especially when we have the most efficient milk producers in Europe.

"After having produced a route map for a sustainable production and distribution chain, we are dragged down again."

NFU deputy president Meurig Raymond is due to meet senior Asda executives on Monday. He said he was extremely concerned at the supermarket's "aggressive price-cutting policies on milk which were destabilising the milk market".

"Devaluing liquid milk is simply not compatible with achieving a profitable, high quality supply base, to which it is committed."

NFU dairy board chairman Gwyn Jones called on the industry to resist further price cuts. As The Grocer went to press Farmers for Action was planning a militant demonstration at Arla plants. FFA leader David Handley was also seeking a meeting with Arla chiefs in Denmark.