Wyke Farms has flown in the face of recent cuts to the farmgate price of milk by hiking the amount it pays farmers by 0.5p per litre.
The increase is a response to the unseasonably wet weather affecting the quality of forage crops – a relatively cheap source of cattle feed on which farmers are heavily reliant to supplement cows’ diets.
“We hope farmers will use the money to cover winter feed because it is becoming clear that many will be struggling to feed the cows over the coming months,” said Wyke MD Richard Clothier.
He warned that the failure of the forage crops, caused by the weather, could have a serious impact on milk supplies in the autumn and winter.
“To think a weather change now would make things better is naïve and unrealistic,” he said. “The pattern of milk supply is now set for as tough winter.”
The increase will apply from 1 August and Wyke will review the situation at the end of each month.
Wyke, whose cheese brands are stocked across the mults, also has its own farming operations.
The news follows cuts made by the country’s fresh liquid major milk processors. Robert Wiseman Dairies cut its rate by 1.7ppl, with dairy Crest and Arla imposing reductions of 1.65ppl and 2ppl respectively.