Dairy Crest has lowered the milk for cheese price it pays to suppliers to reflect lower market returns.

The dairy giant said it would knock 1.25ppl off the price from April as increasing levels of imported cheese were reducing market value. Its milk price would remain unchanged next month, it added.

“We are concerned about the impact on our members who supply milk on a cheese contract, but acknowledge that Dairy Crest has sought to minimise this reduction in the light of current market conditions,” said Dairy Crest Direct chairman David Herdman.